As the federal government continues its aggressive prosecution of nearly 200 anti-Trump activists who protested at the inauguration, it has put forth as evidence video shot by the far-right group Project Veritas - the same organization under fire this week for a botched attempt at tricking Washington Post reporters into covering a false sexual abuse story about Republican Roy Moore.
The US attorney’s office submitted the footage in court on Tuesday as part of an ongoing trial against activists who protested Donald Trump’s inauguration and now face conspiracy and rioting charges that could lead to decades in prison.
The decision to use video from the group drew swift criticism:
“The government is untroubled by their collaboration with authoritarian rightwingers,” said Sam Menefee-Libey, a member of the Dead City Legal Posse, an activist group supporting the protesters on trial.
“Fundamentally, this shows that the state doesn’t have very much to go on,” said James Anderson, a member of It’s Going Down, an anti-fascist collective that has promoted protests against Trump and the “alt-right”. “The fact that they have to fall back on using these far-right trolls, which are widely discredited, not only speaks to the illegitimacy of their case, but also a fundamental relationship between the Trump administration and the alt-right."