Two people have pleaded guilty to peddling a diary and other items belonging to Joe Biden’s daughter to conservative group Project Veritas for $40,000, prosecutors said Thursday.
Both, both of Floridapleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams’ office said.
Although authorities have not identified Biden, the type of stolen property or the organization that paid, details of the investigation have been public for months.
“Aimee Harris and Robert Kurlander pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property involving the theft of personal effects from an immediate family member of a former government official who was a candidate for political office. national,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the South District of New York announced Thursday in a press release.
Ashley Biden stored the diary, tax records, a digital camera with family photos and a cellphone in September 2020 at a house in Delray Beach, Florida, where one of the defendants was living at the time, said prosecutors in a statement.
According to case interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times, Biden left his belongings with a friend at the time and planned to pick them up later that year. The friend, who also knew Harris, allowed Harris to also stay home because she was involved in a custody dispute and facing financial difficulties.
Prosecutors said Harris stole the items and got in touch with the other defendant, a man who contacted Project Veritas, who requested photos of the material, then paid for the two to bring it to New York. .
According to Williams, the couple sold the property for “$40,000 and even came back to take more of the victim’s property when asked to do so.” Harris and Kurlander sought to profit from their theft of another person’s personal property, and they are now convicted of a federal crime as a result.
Project Veritas said it received the log from “tricksters” who said it was dropped in a room. The activist group, which identifies itself as a news agency, said it handed the newspaper over to law enforcement and never did anything illegal.
According the group and its founder, James O’Keefe, Project Veritas “has not been involved in any theft of property and that all Project Veritas information on how the confidential sources found the property came from the sources themselves” .
When asked earlier this year by New York magazine if he had the right to publish the details of the newspaper, O’Keefe replied: “Someone can provide me with information – a third party – and I have a first amendment right to post this.”
Project Veritas is best known for conducting hidden camera stings that have embarrassed the media, labor organizations and Democratic politicians.
In an effort to verify the diary’s authenticity, a Project Veritas agent attempted to trick Biden in a phone call into confirming that the diary actually belonged to him.
According to Biden’s attorneys, the group then contacted them in a bid to land an interview with his father before the election. Biden’s attorneys, who later contacted federal prosecutors, accused the band for his “exorbitant effort to get an interview”.
Harris and Kurlander, who were released after the hearing, apologized for their actions. “I sincerely apologize for any action and I know what I did was illegal,” said Harris, according to the New York Times.
“I know what I did was wrong and horrible and I apologize,” Kurlander said.
The couple pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. They also each agreed to lose $20,000, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Associated Press contributed to this article