Additional charges against two pro-life investigative journalists have been dropped in the case of The People of the State of California vs. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). In a hearing held over Zoom on Tuesday, two of the 10 charges against Merritt and one of the 10 against Daleiden were dropped, according to My Valley News.
Daleiden and Merritt are the undercover journalists from CMP responsible for exposing the fetal body part trafficking scandal taking place at Planned Parenthood affiliates around the nation. On Tuesday, California’s criminal case against them went before Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos in a hearing to request the dismissal of all or some of the criminal charges.
“We can report that of the 10 remaining counts, currently two of them have been dismissed to Sandra, our client, leaving eight that survived and then only one of them was dismissed to David Daleiden,” explained Merritt attorney Harry Mihet.
Since Judge Christopher Hite dropped six charges in December but found there was probable cause for prosecuting Daleiden for nine of the 15 felonies he faced, and the case would go to trial. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra attempted to add an additional charge for the “manufacture, transport or furnishing of a deceptive identification document.”
Mihet said the statute of limitations concerning this will be brought before a different judge on August 10. It has been over four years and the statute of limitations is three years, according to Mihet.
The charges that remain for the journalists include recording Planned Parenthood staffers without their consent. However, the recordings took place in public spaces within earshot of other individuals, including waitstaff. Mihet is hopeful that with these most recent dismissals, all charges will eventually be dismissed.
“They admitted they were not trying to take measures to whisper or to change the subject when others were coming – they made no efforts to try to keep others from overhearing and so from a statutory standpoint it’s quite clear that these were not confidential communications as that term is defined in the statute,” said Mihet.
“There is no merit whatsoever to these charges, they were brought only because the target of the investigation is Planned Parenthood who is politically connected to the attorney general,” he added. “They don’t have any legal merit, they don’t have any basis in fact; we believe ultimately that they will all be dismissed.”
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