Sandra Merritt, half of the duo that went undercover to expose Planned Parenthood’s role in the trafficking of aborted baby body parts, is petitioning the California Court of Appeals to drop all eight remaining felony charges against her, according to her legal team. Merritt’s partner in the undercover investigation, David Daleiden, is represented by the Thomas More Society, who confirmed via email to Live Action News that Daleiden is also seeking the dismissal of all nine remaining charges against him by the state of California.
Fifteen felony counts were originally filed against Merritt and David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress by former California Attorney General and current Democratic vice presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris. The original suit alleged that Merritt knowingly violated California state laws forbidding the recording of private conversations without the other party’s explicit consent, even though all recorded conversations were filmed in public places.
On the contrary, each of the alleged victims in the case “admitted under oath that their conversations with Merritt could be overheard by others in the public spaces where they were recorded, and they took no steps to prevent others from overhearing their candid discussion of what Planned Parenthood does behind closed doors. Under California law, conversations that ‘may be overheard’ are, by definition, not ‘confidential,’ and can be recorded without consent,” writes Liberty Counsel.
After Harris became a state senator, her successor, AG Xavier Becerra, chose to continue the prosecution. While seven charges were previously dropped, including two very recently on July 28th, Merritt is now asking for the remainder to be dismissed. According to Liberty Counsel, “Becerra has not shown, and cannot show, probable cause for any of the politically motivated charges. Merritt’s appeal details with evidence that she did not intend to violate any laws but used legal undercover techniques to investigate and expose potential fetal-trafficking abuses and crimes being committed by Planned Parenthood. Liberty Counsel filed a 71-page brief along with a 2,600-page appendix.”
The brief also addressed multiple questionable aspects of the state’s “investigation” into Merritt’s supposed wrongdoing. According to the press release:
Among numerous documented deficiencies, their investigator, who had never investigated any previous cases of illegal recording, admitted that he never asked the alleged recording ‘victims’ any questions to probe their manufactured stories. He simply wrote down and accepted what they told him at face value. For most of the so-called “victims,” he had to inform them that they were alleged “victims,” since the videos depicting them had not yet been published. They had no idea that they were “victims” until the Attorney General’s investigator called to tell them and recruit them for this prosecution.
Liberty Counsel’s Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel Horatio Mihet commented, “This political prosecution against Sandra Merritt has gone on long enough. It is time for the legal inquisition, that began with Kamala Harris at the behest of her Planned Parenthood financiers, to meet its demise. We will not rest until Sandra Merritt is vindicated.”
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