Late yesterday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra charged pro-life investigative journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress with 15 felony counts related to secret recordings they made that provided evidence of Planned Parenthood's participation in the illegal trafficking of aborted baby remains. Becerra charged Daleiden and Merritt with 14 counts of eavesdropping and 1 count of conspiracy to eavesdrop. Each of the 14 counts is related to conversations Daleiden and Merritt had with Planned Parenthood and its abortion allies in which the profiteers negotiated the sale of fetal body parts in violation of state and federal law. All the conversations were recorded legally, in restaurants or at a conference with hundreds of attendees.
In 2016, Daleiden and Merritt were indicted by a tainted grand jury on similar charges, which were later dismissed after evidence surfaced that the Harris County District Attorney's office had colluded with Planned Parenthood for political reasons to turn the grand jury against the pro-life activists.
"Just as corruption was involved in the last attempt to falsely charge David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, I predict that corruption is at the heart of these California charges as well. It is despicable that the California Attorney General charged innocent whistleblowers with felonies instead of the career criminals at Planned Parenthood. This is the ultimate abuse of power and tyranny. The Planned Parenthood butchers have committed tens of thousands of felonies by illegally selling baby's body parts for profit," said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue who also served as a founding member of the board for the Center for Medical Progress.Newman was not mentioned in the charging documents.
It is believed that the California charges are in retaliation to criminal referrals of several Planned Parenthood organizations to the U.S. Department of Justice by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives.
"We call on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to aggressively prosecute Planned Parenthood and their partners in the illegal aborted baby parts trade," said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Vice President of Operation Rescue. "We ask that Attorney General Sessions resist any intimidation by California authorities who are simply acting as Democratic operatives on a political agenda to thwart any prosecution of Planned Parenthood."
"This is nothing short of a witch hunt," said Life Legal Executive Director Alexandra Snyder. "David Daleiden's investigative journalism provided an indispensable public service by shedding light on Planned Parenthood's criminal activities and its callous disregard for human life. As a direct result of Daleiden's efforts, federal and state prosecutors are investigating the nation's largest abortion giant and its taxpayer funding is threatened. Now Planned Parenthood is calling in favors from its political cronies in retaliation."
Becerra, a former Member of Congress, is a lifelong politician who enjoys a 100% rating with Planned Parenthood. Last year, he called on House Speaker Paul Ryan to disband the Select Congressional Panel tasked with investigating Planned Parenthood's fetal tissue trafficking.
Calling the charges "bogus," Daleiden says he looks forward "to showing the entire world what is on our yet-unreleased video tapes of Planned Parenthood's criminal baby body parts enterprise, in vindication of the First Amendment rights of all."
In response to the charges, Daleiden has released a new video that features Planned Parenthood executives making statements that further illustrate their involvement in the illicit trade of aborted baby remains.
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