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Woman who stole Ashley Biden diary sentenced to jail

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Woman who stole Ashley Biden diary sentenced to jail

Ashley Biden speaks alongside her father US President Joe Biden during a Juneteenth concert on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. 

Samuel Corum | Bloomberg | Getty Images


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woman who stole and then sold a diary and other items belonging to Ashley Biden — the daughter of President Joe Biden — to a right-wing media group weeks before the 2020 election was sentenced Tuesday to one month in federal jail and three months of home detention.

Aimee Harris, 41, also was ordered to forfeit $20,000 and to serve three years of probation at her sentencing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Prosecutors had asked that Harris be sentenced by Judge Laura Taylor Swain to between four to 10 months in jail, as recommended by federal sentencing guidelines.

The Palm Beach resident, whose sentencing was postponed about a dozen times at her request, in turn asked Swain to sentence her to probation, with no time in jail.

Harris pleaded guilty in August 2022 to conspiring with 60-year-old Robert Kurlander, in September 2020 to steal Ashley’s possessions from a Delray, Florida, home where Ashley previously and transporting them over state lines for *****.

Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted Harris, declined to comment. Harris’ attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Harris, who temporarily stayed at the Delray residence after Ashley vacated it, discovered the diary, which had “highly personal entries,” as well as a digital storage card that the president’s daughter had left behind, according to court records.

The provocative right-wing group Project Veritas later paid Harris and the Jupiter, Florida, resident Kurlander $20,000 apiece for the items, according to court records.

Kurlander, who pleaded guilty at the same time as Harris did, currently is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 25 by Swain.

Harris’ sentencing comes more than three months after a federal judge ruled that prosecutors could receive documents seized by the FBI with search warrants ********* at the homes of Project Veritas’ then-CEO James O’Keefe and two other members of the group in November 2021 in connection with a ********* investigation of the diary theft.

Judge Analisa Torres ruled that prosecutors could get documents seized in connection with those warrants that were not protected by attorney-client privilege.

Torres’ order in late December notes that prosecutors claim that Harris and Kurlander were paid by Project Veritas to travel to New York to hand over Ashley Biden’s journal to the group.

“There, Harris allegedly revealed that the Victim had additional items in the Florida residence, and, ‘at Project Veritas’s request,’ she and Kurlander returned to Florida to retrieve them,” Torres wrote, citing the claims by prosecutors.

“The Government alleges that they stole additional items from the Victim and gave them to a Project Veritas employee in Florida, who transported the items to New York.”

Torres in order endorsed the finding of a so-called special master, who was appointed to review the documents, that Project Veritas and O’Keefe were not entitled to journalistic privilege in shielding the documents from prosecutors’ eyes.

A lawyer for O’Keefe did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Neither O’Keefe nor anyone else connected to Project Veritas has been charged in connection with the diary.

Read more CNBC politics coverage

O’Keefe, in a statement issued after the FBI searches, said that his organization had been approached by people offering it the Biden diary, but that the group decided not to publish its contents and later turned the journal to law enforcement when Ashley’s lawyer refused to accept it.

“At the end of the day, we made the ethical decision that because, in part, we could not determine if the diary was real, if the diary in fact belonged to Ashley Biden, or if the contents of the diary occurred, we could not publish the diary and any part thereof,” O’Keefe said at the time.

O’Keefe was removed as Project Veritas’ chief in February 2023.

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