Almost two weeks before the 2020 election, Project Veritas Published Excerpts from the diary that were previously missing during the campaign. The group said the diary belonged to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s daughter and was provided to them by a “whistleblower”.
Meanwhile the conservative group requested The diary was obtained legally, and the FBI launched an investigation into how the diary came into the organization’s hands. In November 2021, agents raided the homes of people linked to the activist group twice.
In its Thursday announcement, the Justice Department said Harris and Kurlander conspired in September 2020 to steal, transport and sell “personal property belonging to an individual” referred to as the “victim.”
FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said in a statement that the two defendants “conspired to steal an individual’s personal property, which they then sold to third parties and delivered across state lines.”
“As a result of their actions, they now face punishment in the federal criminal justice system for their crimes,” Driscoll said.
The Justice Department said the two knew the items belonged to a political candidate’s immediate family member. According to the department, Harris was staying at a Delray Beach, Fla., property where the victim stored items. Items include a diary, tax records, a storage card with personal family photos and a cell phone. Harris, the Justice Department alleges, stole these items and, along with Kurlander, contacted an organization in Mamaroneck, NY; Project Veritas is headquartered there. The organization paid them $20,000 each for the stolen property and had the items shipped to New York, the Justice Department said.
According to the Justice Department, the organization asked Harris and Kurlander to go back to Florida and get more items from Harris.
In a statement, Project Veritas said its “information collection was ethical and legal.”
Harris and Kurlander pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport stolen property interstate, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. They also agreed to forfeit the $20,000 paid. Kurlander, as part of his plea agreement, agreed to cooperate with the department’s investigation.
A charge sheet has been filed for the first time in connection with the theft of the diary.
According to the Judiciary Investigation, the owner of the stolen property — whom the department never identified as Ashley Biden — stayed with a friend at the Florida home in the spring of 2020 and left the property in June 2020, leaving behind personal items with the friend’s permission. The same friend invited Harris to temporarily stay in his room a few days after Biden left, where he discovered the items. About two months later, Harris asked Kurlander to help sell the property. Kurlander promised to help Harris make money by selling the items.
By September 2020, the two contacted a political campaign hoping to sell the items, but the campaign was rejected, the Justice Department said. The campaign instead instructed the two to return the items to the FBI.
In a text to Harris, Kurlander declined to do so and said the sale of the goods “should be done in a different way.” That’s when they contacted the conservative organization.