25 January 2016

Your Daily Schadenfreude

Under pressure from the Texas Governor's Office, the Harris County prosecutor's office convened a grand jury to investigate the bogusly edited video from the so called "Center for Medical Progress" that alleged that Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue.

They came back with indictments ……… of the antiabortion Taliban that created the video:
A grand jury here that was investigating accusations of misconduct against Planned Parenthood has instead indicted two abortion opponents who made undercover videos of the organization.

Prosecutors in Harris County said one of the leaders of the Center for Medical Progress — an anti-abortion group that made secretly recorded videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to illegally profit from the sale of fetal tissue — had been indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record, a felony, and on a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs.

That leader, David Daleiden, 26, the director of the center, had posed as a biotechnology representative to infiltrate Planned Parenthood affiliates and surreptitiously record his efforts to procure tissue for research. Another center employee, Sandra Merritt, was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record.


On Monday, the Harris County district attorney, Devon Anderson, said in a statement that grand jurors had cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing.


The case here started in August, when Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican and an outspoken opponent of abortion and Planned Parenthood, asked Ms. Anderson to open a criminal investigation into the organization. His request came after the release of an undercover video recorded at a Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast office in Houston with a research official for the organization. Mr. Patrick said the video showed the group “discussing the gruesome and barbaric work of Planned Parenthood and what appears to be its profiteering from selling body parts from aborted babies.”


This month in federal court in San Francisco, Planned Parenthood sued the center, Mr. Daleiden and other abortion opponents involved in the videos. The suit accused them of engaging in a three-year criminal enterprise to target the group.

“These people broke the law to spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood in order to advance their extreme anti-abortion political agenda,” Eric Ferrero, a spokesman for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement Monday. “As the dust settles and the truth comes out, it’s become totally clear that the only people who engaged in wrongdoing are the criminals behind this fraud, and we’re glad they’re being held accountable.”

In making the videos, Mr. Daleiden and others have been accused of setting up a fake company called Biomax Procurement Services, creating fake identities and claiming to be part of a legitimate provider of fetal tissue to researchers. The charge of tampering with a governmental record appeared to be related to Mr. Daleiden’s and Ms. Merritt’s use of fake ID cards.

“We know that they used fake IDs that had their real photographs but fake names and fake addresses purported to be issued by the state of California,” said Josh Schaffer, a Houston lawyer who represents Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in the Harris County criminal investigation. Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt presented those IDs to security at the Planned Planned office to gain entry to the building. “They never denied that they presented a fake ID,” Mr. Schaffer said.

Mr. Schaffer said he believed the misdemeanor charge stemmed from laws prohibiting offers to buy fetal tissue. He said that following the meeting with Planned Parenthood officials in Houston, Mr. Daleiden sent an email to them offering to buy fetal tissue for $1,600 per sample.

“It does not surprise me that a grand jury that chose to correctly apply the law to the evidence that was presented would return this result,” Mr. Schaffer said. “The written charges have not been released publicly yet, so at this point I am working on my knowledge of the investigation.”
I am so amused by all of this.

Considering the nature of their actions, I'm thinking that Homeland Security should put Daleiden and his co-conspirators on the no fly list, but that is probably a pipe dream.


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