The Thomas More Society has announced via email that prosecutors in Harris County, Texas, dropped the remaining felony charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the Center for Medical Progress undercover investigators responsible for exposing Planned Parenthood’s scandal over the sale of aborted baby parts.
“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,” Daleiden’s attorney, Peter Breen of Thomas More, said. “This meritless and retaliatory prosecution should never have been brought.”
Last month, a judge dismissed the charge that Daleiden engaged in trafficking of human organs (a charge that was always logically inconsistent, as CMP could not have done anything illegal if Planned Parenthood’s end of the transaction was as legitimate as it claims).
Daleiden and Merritt still faced a felony charge for using fake identification, an offense that potentially carried a 20-year prison sentence. Now, that charge has been dismissed as well.
The Center for Medical Progress has released the following statement confirming the news:
The dismissal of the bogus, politically motivated charges against CMP project lead David Daleiden and investigator Sandra Merritt is a resounding vindication of the First Amendment rights of all citizen journalists, and also a clear warning to any of Planned Parenthood’s political cronies who would attack whistleblowers to protect Planned Parenthood from scrutiny.
Planned Parenthood tried to collude with public officials to manipulate the legal process to their own benefit, and they failed. A year after the release of the undercover videos, the ongoing nationwide investigation of Planned Parenthood by the House Select Investigative Panel makes clear that Planned Parenthood is the guilty party in the harvesting and trafficking of baby body parts for profit.
The Center for Medical Progress’s first video was released last July, igniting a media firestorm, numerous state investigations, a congressional investigation, and calls to defund and prosecute the abortion giant. Along the way, abortion advoctates have made a variety of false claims to discredit CMP’s work, but pro-life Americans’ desire to learn the complete truth and hold Planned Parenthood accountable for the CMP videos’ revelations has not wavered.
Live Action President Lila Rose reacted to the ruling on social media, writing:
Justice won out today. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt have done a tremendous service on behalf of the most defenseless in our nation — exposing the barbaric practice of baby body parts trafficking — and they should be commended, not penalized. Court documents show the DA actually colluded with Planned Parenthood behind the scenes from the beginning and gave the abortion giant public relations cover for months. It’s now time for a special prosecutor to do what Planned Parenthood’s own attorney admitted the DA didn’t do: ask a grand jury to look into Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of baby body parts.