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California Attorney General vows to reinstate charges against Center for Medical Progress investigators

In March, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed 15 felony charges of invasion of privacy against Center for Medical Progress investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Becerra accused them of using “manufactured identities and a fictitious bioresearch company to meet women’s healthcare providers and covertly record the private discussions they initiated.”

“The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California’s Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society,” Becerra said. “We will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations.”

Then, last month, federal judge William Orrick (an Obama donor with connections to Planned Parenthoodthreatened to hold Daleiden and Merritt in contempt after their attorneys released another video, despite an injunction having been filed against videos featuring the National Abortion Federation.

But this week, news broke that a state judge had ruled in favor of Daleiden and Merritt, granting “most of defendant Daleiden’s and Merritt’s demurrer motions, knocking out the 14 recording charges until the CA AG amends their complaint” and had “also denied the AG’s request for contempt sanctions against David’s defense counsel, and agreed Judge Orrick’s federal gag order in the civil lawsuit should not prevent defendants from using the videos in our defense.”

This evidently did not deter Becerra, who has responded to the news by vowing to reinstate the felony charges against Daleiden and Merritt anyway. Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite ruled that the charges were too vague and were “legally insufficient,” saying that the state “must specify each of the 14 recordings that were allegedly made without consent.” Becerra’s office released a statement saying that they had been given 10 days to specify the recordings each charge was based on.

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