The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday said it is assessing allegations of improper behavior by one of its employees in a video published by the conservative activist organization Project Veritas.
The video, titled "Deep State Unmasked," depicts a DOJ employee and a former Health and Human Services (HHS) employee separately telling an off-screen individual that there are efforts to resist aspects of the Trump administration.
“These allegations are deeply concerning," a DOJ spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill. "Department policy prohibits misuse of government resources to advance personal interests. We are looking into this immediately and have referred this matter to the Inspector General as well."
The DOJ employee featured in the video identifies herself as Allison Hrabar, a paralegal at DOJ. She is recorded saying there’s "a lot of talk at work about like how we can resist from the inside." She explains that in one instance, a worker intentionally slowed down the process of taking food stamp recipients off the program so they could continue to benefit from the federal program.
The video quickly cuts between Hrabar's responses and does not show what she was asked prior to her remarks each time.
Hrabar was among several members of the Washington, D.C., chapter of Democratic Socialists of America who took part in a protest in June confronting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenFar-left bullies resort to harassing, shaming Kyrsten Sinema — it won't work Ex-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides MORE over the practice of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The video also includes a conversation between an unseen individual and a woman who Project Veritas identifies as Jessica Schubel, a former HHS employee who now works as a senior policy analyst at the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Schubel described receiving advance information from an administration worker about a policy that would establish work requirements to receive Medicaid.
She compared the process to “the Nixon ‘deep throat’ type of thing.”
The video is the latest in a series of efforts by Project Veritas to highlight alleged bias within the federal government, the media and at technology companies.
The group, founded by James O'Keefe, produces videos in which its members secretly record conversations with their subjects.
Last year, the group attempted to plant a fake story in The Washington Post when one of its members pretended that she had a sexual relationship as a teenager with then-Alabama Senate candidate Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreRoy Moore loses lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen Shelby backs ex-aide over Trump-favored candidate in Alabama Senate race Of inmates and asylums: Today's House Republicans make the John Birchers look quaint MORE. The Post discovered through its reporting that the woman was a member of Project Veritas who had spent months working to gain access to individuals "within journalism or left-leaning politics."
"James O'Keefe and the wildly unethical Project Veritas have been discredited and dismissed by investigative journalists, congressional committees, and several courts," the Democratic Socialists of America chapter in D.C. said in a statement to The Hill. "This campaign, which wrongly targets both these dedicated public servants' privacy and their freedom to exercise their 1st amendment right, is just the latest in a long line of failed political attacks from a group desperate to remain relevant."
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities declined to comment.
Olivia Beavers contributed.