Two Florida residents pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing Ashley Biden’s diary and conspiring to transport it across state lines, according to the Department of Justice.
Aimee Harris and Jonathan Kurlander stole Biden’s diary in September 2020 from a Florida residence that had been formerly occupied by Biden. The pair first tried to pawn the stolen goods off on the Trump campaign, but were rebuffed. They ended up bringing the purloined diary to New York, where they sold it to Project Veritas for $40,000.
“Ashley Biden, 41, “had stored the property, including a handwritten journal containing highly personal entries, tax records, a digital storage card containing private family photographs, and a cellphone, among other things, in a private residence in Delray Beach, Florida, at which HARRIS was temporarily residing,” the Biden Justice Department said in a statement.
Entries in the diary included details about Ashley Biden’s drug abuse, multiple affairs, as well as the disturbing revelations that she believed she was sexually molested as a child and shared “probably not appropriate” showers with her father.
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe has said that his organization was told that the diary and Ashley Biden’s other effects were abandoned by her. The group ultimately decided that the diary’s salacious content couldn’t be verified and tried to return the diary to an attorney representing Ms. Biden.
He said that attorney refused to authenticate it, so he then gave it to law enforcement to ensure that it got back to its rightful owner.
“We never published it,” he pointed out. “Now Ms. Biden’s father’s Department of Justice—specifically the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York—appears to be investigating the situation, claiming the diary was stolen.”
Before pitching the stolen goods to Project Veritas, Harris and Kurlander first approached the Trump campaign about buying the material, according to the court filing.
The pair attended a September 6, 2020, Trump campaign fundraisier “with the intent of showing the Victim’s stolen property to a campaign representative … hoping that the political campaign would purchase it,” federal prosecutors wrote. But a Trump campaign official advised them to take the material to the FBI, according to the indictment.
The Trump campaign “can’t use it,” Kurlander texted Harris. “They want it to go to the FBI. There is NO WAY [Trump] can use this. It has to be done a different way,” he wrote.
Harris and Kurlander both pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property, charges that carry up to five years in prison. Additionally, each of the defendants will have to forfeit $20,000, totaling the amount they received from Project Veritas for the materials.
The defendants, according to prosecutors, were hoping to get more than $40,000 from Project Veritas for the stolen property.
“I’m expecting that they’re gonna pay up to $100,000 each maybe more …. I made it so that the 10,000 is NOT your only payment as it was written and if this does turn into something good or blockbusting then I’ll get us more money. They of course come across as the nicest people in the world but their job is to pay the least and they aren’t your or my best friends. They are in a sketchy business and here they are taking what’s literally a stolen diary and info …. and trying to make a story that will ruin [the Victim’s] [sic] life and try and effect the election,” Kurlander texted Harris of the negotiations, according to the indictment.
The FBI raided the apartments and houses of Project Veritas Journalists and former journalists on November 4, 2021, and Keefe’s apartment in Mamaroneck, New York on Nov. 6, 2021 as part of its investigation into the theft.
The feds seized electronic devices from O’Keefe, including his personal cell phone, the Daily Caller reported, although a federal judge later ordered them to cease extracting data from the devices, and appointed a special master to review O’Keefe’s data.
A federal judge later ruled that The New York Times, the first organization to report on the raid, improperly published an article about the search. Project Veritas accused government officials of leaking information about the raid to NYT, and Veritas is currently suing the outlet for defamation.
Project Veritas issued the following statement in response to today’s guilty pleas.
“Project Veritas’ news gathering was ethical and legal. A journalists lawful receipt of material later alleged to be stolen is routine, commonplace, and protected by the First Amendment,” said O’Keefe.