A British former spy recruited by Erik Prince, the security contractor close to the Trump administration, played a central role in a secretive effort to hire dozens of operatives for the conservative group Project Veritas, deposition testimony shows.
Job applicants traveled to Wyoming in 2017 for interviews with the former intelligence officer, Richard Seddon, as Project Veritas sought to expand its operations early in the Trump administration, according to a lawsuit deposition reviewed by The New York Times. The interviews conducted by Mr. Seddon and his colleagues took place near the airport in the small town of Cody, not far from Mr. Prince’s family ranch.
The new details about Project Veritas show the extent of the group’s ambitions to build an intelligence-gathering apparatus to infiltrate Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations, news media and other groups. Project Veritas is known for its sting operations aimed at such groups, which have prompted allegations that it has published deceptively edited videos.
Mr. Seddon did not immediately return an email seeking comment. James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, did not respond to specific questions about Mr. Seddon or his role with the group. But he wrote in an email, “The NYT has engaged in a coordinated malice-fueled disinformation campaign against Project Veritas.”
The Times reported in February that Mr. Prince, the founder of Blackwater Worldwide and the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has in recent years helped recruit American and British former spies for Project Veritas’s intelligence-gathering operations. [Continue reading…]