Woman who stole Biden daughter’s diary skips sentencing, threatened with arrest

By Thomson Reuters Mar 27, 2024 | 3:08 PM

By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The woman who admitted to stealing President Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley’s diary and helping sell it to conservative activists could face arrest as soon as Friday after skipping her sentencing, a federal judge said on Wednesday.

Aimee Harris was supposed to be sentenced in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon. Her lawyers had earlier told U.S. District Judge Laura Swain that the Florida resident was “unable” to attend because of “childcare and other issues.”

Harris’ sentencing had been postponed twice this year because of similar issues.

With Harris appearing via video, Swain postponed sentencing until April 9. The judge said she would issue a warrant for Harris’ arrest on Friday afternoon unless she submits additional documents including a financial affidavit by noon that day.

“I hope I don’t have to,” Swain said. “Neither you nor your children needs the United States Marshals looking for you, finding you and bringing you to New York.”

An arrest warrant could lead to Harris spending time behind bars, a fate she likely would not have faced at sentencing.

Prosecutors had asked Swain to sentence Harris to six months of house arrest and three years of supervised release, while Harris requested probation.

Harris and another Florida resident, Robert Kurlander, pleaded guilty on Aug. 25, 2022 to conspiring to commit interstate transportation of stolen property in connection with Ashley Biden’s diary.

According to court papers, Harris stole the diary after staying at a home in Delray Beach, Florida, where Ashley Biden had once stayed and was storing the diary and other possessions.

Harris enlisted Kurlander to help sell the diary, Ashley Biden’s family photos, and other items to the conservative activist group Project Veritas, which paid them $20,000 each, the papers show.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan said Harris’ communications with Kurlander indicated she was motivated in part by a desire to “harm Candidate-1’s campaign” — a reference to Democrat Joe Biden’s successful 2020 White House run.

“While the substance of Harris’ political views is of no relevance to this case, the manner in which she advanced them was far outside of lawful political activism of any kind,” prosecutors wrote.

Kurlander is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12.

Project Veritas has said Harris and Kurlander claimed they obtained the diary lawfully.

The group said it did not publish a story because it could not confirm the diary was authentic, and instead arranged for it to be sent to Florida law enforcement.

Project Veritas frequently releases hidden camera footage seeking to show alleged wrongdoing by left-leaning organizations. It has frequently been accused of using deceptive tactics.

The Mamaroneck, New York-based group has long characterized its work as journalism.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)