Conservative group’s hidden-cam video targets Hillary Clinton workers in West Palm Beach

A clip from a new Project Veritas video shot in West Palm Beach.
A clip from a new Project Veritas video shot in West Palm Beach.

A hidden-camera video by a conservative group purports to show Hillary Clinton campaign staffers in West Palm Beach making light of sexual assault and condoning the destruction of Republican voter registration forms.


The Florida Democratic Party says it takes such matters seriously and is investigating the claims made in the video by Project Veritas Action. Project Veritas is headed by James O’Keefe, who has been accused of deceptively editing videos that targeted ACORN and Planned Parenthood. O’Keefe in 2010 was sentenced to three years’ probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine for the misdemeanor charge of entering a federal building under false pretenses.


The West Palm Beach video has been viewed more than 1 million times since it was posted Wednesday on YouTube. It was shot by an undercover activist who worked briefly out of a Democratic coordinated campaign office.


Florida law prohibits recording a person without the person’s consent. But Project Veritas spokesman Stephen Gordon contended that because the subjects of the footage were recorded in a restaurant and in and around a campaign office, they did not have an “expectation of privacy.”


Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the Palm Beach County state attorney’s office, said he couldn’t comment on the specific video. In general, Edmondson said, Florida is a “two-party consent state” and violations of the law are a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.


“Each case is reviewed on the facts of that particular case. In Florida, the presumption is that you ask permission before taping,” Edmondson said.


In one clip from the Project Veritas video, a Democratic campaign staffer sitting in a restaurant with others says: “I think that the bar of, like, acceptable conduct on this campaign is pretty, pretty low…In order for me to be fired I’d probably have to grab Emma’s ass like twice.”


In another clip, the undercover worker tells a supervisor that he ripped up three “ballots” — apparently meaning voter registration forms — that had been submitted by Donald Trump supporters.


“So we’re OK with that?” the undercover plant says.


“Yeah,” says the supervisor, who later says he won’t report it. “As long as you don’t make it a habit.”


Gordon said no registration forms were destroyed but the Project Veritas plant said so to see what the supervisor’s reaction would be.


Florida Democratic Party spokesman Max Steele says the party is looking into the claims made in the video.


“Sexual assault and harassment, and destruction of voter registration forms, are serious offenses. There is no question that a staff member who engaged in this kind of behavior would be immediately terminated, and we are investigating the claims. Remarks like these do not represent the Florida Democratic Party and are completely inappropriate,” Steele said.






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