A man and woman from Florida pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court Thursday to stealing a diary that belonged to President Biden’s daughter Ashley and selling it to conservative outlet Project Veritas.
Aimee Harris, 40, and Robert Kurlander, 58, each copped to one count of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property over the theft.
As part of his plea deal, Kurlander agreed to cooperate with federal investigators who are probing how Project Veritas bought the diary, prosecutors said.
“They sold the property to an organization in New York for $40,000 and even returned to take more of the victim’s property when asked to do so,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
“Harris and Kurlander sought to profit from their theft of another person’s personal property, and they now stand convicted of a federal felony as a result.”
They each face up to five years in prison.
The Justice Department began investigating the stolen diary after a Biden family rep reported a number of Ashley’s belongings had been stolen in a burglary at her former Florida home, the New York Times previously reported.
Federal investigators raided the Midtown Manhattan apartment of Project Veritas operative Spencer Meads and another address in Westchester County associated with the right-wing news outlet in November 2021.
Project Veritas did not publish any excerpts from the diary in the lead up to the 2020 election, but another conservative website ran dozens of handwritten pages from it in the final weeks of the race between Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Veritas, run by James O’Keefe, is a controversial news outlet known for carrying out undercover stings on liberal politicians, advocacy groups and mainstream media journalists.
The group has targeted Planned Parenthood, labor unions and news outlets such as the New York Times and CNN.
In a statement after the FBI raids in November, O’Keefe said in a statement that his organization’s handling of the diary was above board and ethical.
“Like any reporter, we regularly deal with the receipt of source information and take steps to verify its authenticity, legality, and newsworthiness. Our efforts were the stuff of responsible, ethical journalism and we are in no doubt that Project Veritas acted properly at each and every step,” the statement said.