Prosecutors give up on felonies against baby body-parts investigators
Felony counts that had been filed by a “rogue” prosecutor in Texas against two investigators who in 2015 released videos uncovering the baby body-parts trade of Planned Parenthood have been dismissed by a judge.
The prosecutor, who had been the target of outrage when the charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were filed last winter, asked for the dismissal on Tuesday, and the request quickly was granted by the judge in the case.
The videos revealed Planned Parenthood executives explaining how they could adjust abortion procedures to save the body parts requested by the undercover videographers, who were posing as representatives of a company dealing in the trade of fetal tissue.
They also talked about how much money they wanted, with one executive infamously describing how she wanted a Lamborghini.
However, changing abortion procedures in such circumstances, as well as profiting from transactions, violates federal law.
WND reported that talk radio host Rush Limbaugh described the Texas indictments as a “rogue” prosecutor working with a “pro-abortion” staffer inside his own office.
“So all that has to happen is that your rogue prosecutor, working in concert with your pro-abortion activist in the DA’s office, get[s] in the grand jury room and start[s] explaining all this to the grand jury, which is made up of your average Hillary voter, for all we know,” he said at the time. “And you start explaining what really went on here. Here we have this great organization, Planned Parenthood, that’s trying to plan families and trying to protect women from the terrible, almost fatal disease of pregnancy, and here come these rogue agents disguised as journalists, but they don’t have immunity, and they’re the ones who’ve engaged in criminal activity,” he said.
Peter Breen, a lawyer for Daleiden from the Thomas More Society, said: “Today’s dismissal in Houston is a huge win for the First Amendment rights of undercover journalists. David Daleiden used standard undercover journalism techniques and followed all applicable laws in doing so. This meritless and retaliatory prosecution should never have been brought. Planned Parenthood did wrong here, not David Daleiden.”
His comment came after Harris County moved to dismiss the remaining charge on the basis of his lawyers’ motion to dismiss due to the invalidity of the grand jury that issued the indictment.
Liberty Counsel, which is representing Merritt, said its client was cleared of the “baseless and frivolous” charges.
“We celebrate this victory for Sandra Merritt as she did nothing wrong. She exposed the sale of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood and today she has been vindicated,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The indictment was politically motivated and should never have been filed in the first place.”
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood chief Cecile Richards was hobnobbing at the Democratic National Convention. Scheduled to speak on Tuesday night, on Monday night she was sitting next to the pro-abortion former President Bill Clinton in the VIP boxes.
Daleiden and Merritt still face the possibility of civil action brought by pro-abortion interests in California. The abortionists claim that they suffered a loss in income because of the revelations of their practices, and that Daleiden and Merritt are responsible.
But the pro-life group Operation Rescue said the vindication of the two undercover investigators was important.
“This is vindication of the work of David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress. I am so pleased that justice has prevailed! These false charges can no longer be used by Planned Parenthood and their cronies as a smokescreen to hide their own criminal conduct,” said Troy Newman, Operation Rescue’s president and a founding board member for the Center for Medical Progress, through which Daleiden and Merritt worked.
They were accused in the felony indictment of using actors’ IDs and in a misdemeanor count of attempting to purchase aborted baby organs from Planned Parenthood’s high-volume late-term abortion facility in Houston, Texas.
The misdemeanor counts were thrown out earlier.
As WND reported when the indictment was released in Texas, it raised many questions.
Daleiden and an associate were indicted by a grand jury assembled by Harris County prosecutor Devon Anderson, who has financial ties to a lawyer representing abortionists.
The indictment came after the grand jury was told to investigate Planned Parenthood, not the investigators.
At the time, Operation Rescue called for a new “untainted” grand jury.
Operation Rescue reported its information “indicates the grand jury indictments against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were likely in retaliation against Operation Rescue for filing a complaint against Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen, which led to a grand investigation of him in 2013.”
Karpen was accused by former co-workers of murdering babies born alive during shoddy abortions.
“Chip Lewis, Karpen’s attorney, falsely accused Operation Rescue of paying three former Karpen employees to testify against him and of ‘doctoring’ grisly photographs of babies Karpen had allegedly murdered, according to witnesses,” OR said.
“Lewis threatened Operation Rescue after no true bill was returned against Karpen. Lewis told the Houston Chronicle, ‘Those responsible for bringing these wholly unfounded allegations against Dr. Karpen will be held responsible for their crimes.’ He further threatened an investigation of Operation Rescue, which never materialized.”
It is Lewis, Operation Rescue said, who “has tight connections to District Attorney Devon Anderson.”
“He is a long time personal friend of hers and her now deceased husband, former D.A. Mike Anderson, and is the largest political donor to the Anderson family. It could be assumed that Anderson owes Lewis for his friendship and political favors.”
Further, Planned Parenthood lawyer Josh Schaffer “stated that during the grand jury proceedings, he and prosecutors maintained a ‘dialogue … about the details of the case, and kept that going through,'” court records reveal.
“To further demonstrate collusion with the pro-abortion lawyers, an attorney for the National Abortion Foundation, Mr. Derek Foran, announced to the world via The New York Times that he had insider information and ‘learned about the indictments in Texas about a half hour before they were publicly announced,'” records state.
The submission also explains Anderson’s grand jury violates a variety of procedural rules, leaving the indictment invalid.
Among the offenses committed against Daleiden?
“It is well settled that no person may disclose the existence of an indictment as it is to be kept secret until the defendant is in custody or has been released on bond …” court filings explain. The grand jury also was without “proper authority,” so the charge “must be quashed,” the filing explains.
“Furthermore, the prosecutors have systematically leaked grand jury proceedings to unauthorized persons. There is no justifiable basis for this conduct and granting this motion to quash the indictments is the only appropriate remedy,” it said.
A spokesman in Anderson’s office told WND she was not taking questions on the issue, and a statement by Anderson said: “These matters will be thoroughly reviewed by a judge and jury. I am confident that the actions of the DA’s office in this case will withstand any scrutiny.”
Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue said it is well known that Anderson is a close friend of Karpen’s attorney, Lewis, and after Anderson’s grand jury “no-billed” Karpen, Lewis donated $25,000 to Anderson’s political campaigns.
Further, one of Anderson’s staff members is on the board of the local abortion organization.
The undercover videos have prompted a number of states to defund Planned Parenthood and several congressional investigations have begun into the organization that receives half-a-billion dollars a year from U.S. taxpayers. One conclusion already reached was that profits were made in the baby body-parts trade.
In the first undercover video released by CMP, Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on crushing babies.
“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact,” she said.
( Source & Videos )