Judge Christopher Hite of the San Francisco Superior Court has ruled that the criminal case against the Center for Medical Progress will proceed, with reduced charges.
The Thomas More Society announced the ruling on Twitter. CMP investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt faced 14 felony charges for their undercover investigation of the illegal trafficking of the organs of aborted children, but will now stand trial for nine felony counts of illegal recording. Judge Hite dropped six counts against the undercover journalists but also stated that he believes there is sufficient evidence from the preliminary hearing to try Daleiden and Merritt for allegedly breaking California’s anti-eavesdropping law.
California law specifically prohibits only the undisclosed recording of “confidential” communications, which testimony and video evidence have shown CMP did not take part in. Conversations recorded by CMP investigators of abortion industry workers involved in the trafficking of the body parts of aborted children all took place within earshot of bystanders, including restaurant employees. CMP journalists were careful to record in public areas such as open hotel spaces and busy restaurants. News agencies including Fox Los Angeles and CBS Los Angeles have been known to participate in similar undercover video recording — not only without prosecution, but with applause from Calfornia’s Attorney General’s office.
Planned Parenthood is a serial human rights abuser that should be investigated, prosecuted & shut down for their horrific crimes against humanity.
Every charge against Daleiden & Merritt should be immediately dropped. This “trial” is a disgrace. #DefendJournalism
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) December 6, 2019
“Today’s ruling in California v. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt proves how unfounded and outrageous the charges are against Daleiden and Merritt,” said Live Action president Lila Rose. “Not only is it a violation of their First Amendment rights and a gross abuse of power, it demonstrates the politically motivated double standard that exists for journalists in California seeking the truth. The same year David and Sandra published their recordings of Planned Parenthood employees haggling over the price of aborted baby body parts, videos taken by undercover animal rights activists were praised and led to investigations of abuse in the poultry industry by then-Attorney General Kamala Harris — the same AG who then levied charges against the pro-life reporters. Instead of praise, David and Sandra still have nine charges against them that have nothing to do with violating privacy or video recording laws but everything to do with protecting the powerful and wealthy abortion industry.”
CMP’s David Daleiden said in an emailed statement:
Former California Attorney General Kamala Harris concocted this bogus, biased prosecution with her Planned Parenthood backers against undercover video reporting, and now their case is falling apart as the facts about Planned Parenthood’s criminal organ trafficking are revealed in the courtroom.
The remaining charges under the California video recording law—the first and only time it has ever been used against undercover news gatherers—will fall for the same reasons that 5 charges were dismissed today: these were public conversations easily overheard by third parties. The real criminals are the Planned Parenthood leadership who sold fetal body parts from late-term abortions and weaponized the justice system to try to cover it up.
READ: Center for Medical Progress files defamation lawsuit against former Planned Parenthood abortionist
Even if CMP had recorded confidential conversations, the fact is that California law does allow for this when the purpose is to collect evidence of a crime, as was the case with CMP’s undercover work to expose the illegal trafficking of the body parts of aborted children. Evidence proves that the entire investigation by CMP took place because of a suspected federal crime.
Judge Hite is expected to unseal evidence that reveals CMP was correct to suspect that illegal fetal body part trafficking is taking place in Planned Parenthood abortion facilities. This evidence is proof that the true criminals are not the CMP investigators but rather the Planned Parenthood executives who sold the organs of aborted children, including those who were born alive, and then worked to cover up those crimes.
The remaining charges against CMP and investigators Daleiden and Merritt should have been thrown out with the rest. However, the trial will hopefully expose the complete and shocking evidence of Planned Parenthood’s crimes against women and babies.
“Like” Live Action News on Facebook for more pro-life news and commentary!