Last year, two journalists set up a complex and high-level sting against top Planned Parenthood executives; they took undercover video of their meetings with those executives. The videos stunned Americans with their graphic depictions of baby body parts and executives laughing and joking about sale of those baby body parts to research facilities.
Now a Harris County grand jury has indicted the real lawbreakers: the journalists.
David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of California were charged by the grand jury with tampering with a governmental record, which could carry a sentence of 20 years in prison, as well as a misdemeanor charge of purchasing or selling baby body parts. “As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us,” explained Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, a Republican. “All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury. I respect their decision on this difficult case.”
Nobody from Planned Parenthood was indicted. Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton have their own investigations against Planned Parenthood; those will continue.
The indictments against Daleiden and Merritt are ridiculous.
The tampering with a governmental record charge springs from Daleiden reportedly using a fake California ID to gain access to Planned Parenthood. “We know that they used fake IDs that had their real photographs but fake names and fake addresses purported to be issued by the State of California,” said the lawyer for Planned Parenthood.
This is absurd, given that in California, fake ID is a way of life for illegal immigrants as well as underage teens. The only people in human history prosecuted for this offense will apparently be undercover activists attempting to expose criminal activity. And this is precisely what Democrats have been calling for for months – in October of last year, Congressional Democrats demanded that California Attorney General Kamala Harris prosecute Daleiden on similar charges.
The second charge suggests that Daleiden, according to the Houston Chronicle, “went too far in trying to provoke Planned Parenthood to admit to selling tissue.” So, in other words, Planned Parenthood was actually willing to sell tissue to a fake company; the fake company had no intention of buying that tissue, and just wanted to expose Planned Parenthood’s willingness to sell. But the fake company is being charged with trying to obtain tissue.
It’s as though this grand jury has never heard of undercover journalism. As Daleiden told LifeNews, “The Center for Medical Progress uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws.”
Texas Right To Life accused the grand jury process of being skewed:
In a politically motivated grand jury hearing on Monday, the evidence of illegal practices of dismembering unborn children was ignored, while the investigative journalists who revealed the abortion atrocities were indicted for exercising their First Amendment rights. People who report crimes should not be indicted due to the political ties of the prosecutors. This botched proceeding represents a grave miscarriage of justice.
Accusations have flown that Anderson’s employee, Lauren Reeder, is a board member of the local Planned Parenthood. But there are 300 prosecutors and 700 employees working for the Harris County DA’s office.
Here’s the bottom line: it’s odd that the prosecution and grand jury would choose to throw the book at Daleiden and company while ignoring the abortion mill that laughed about selling baby body parts.
But don’t worry: the media will use this to suggest that the only wrongdoing was a couple of fake IDs by some crazed conservatives.