A federal judge has dismissed 5 of the 14 federal charges pending against David Daleiden, founder of the pro-life Center for Medical Progress and journalist who exposed Planned Parenthood in several undercover videos.
While five charges are dismissed, the remaining nine head to trial.
Daleiden claimed victory online, saying the case was falling apart.
Take a look at his Tweet:
BREAKING: Bogus political prosecution of undercover video reporting, brought by failed presidential candidate @KamalaHarris to save @PPFA is falling apart. Unsupported by facts and law. The real criminals are fetal organ traffickers at @PPFA @NatAbortionFed
The Federalist had more on the story:
A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled Friday that nine of the state’s 15 felony charges against undercover journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, in a prosecution initiated by then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris, have enough evidence to proceed to a criminal trial. The judge dropped the other six charges.
Daleiden and Merritt, citizen journalists with the Center for Medical Progress, were charged with 14 felony counts of illegal taping of confidential information (eavesdropping) and one count of conspiracy, in which they exposed the illegal activity of Planned Parenthood and the human tissue procurement company StemExpress. The case marks the first time charges of eavesdropping have ever been made in California.
After Friday’s ruling, Daleiden said Harris’ case continues to fall apart as 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,” Daleiden said.
In September, Judge Christopher Hite heard preliminary criminal hearings to determine if there is probable cause Daleiden and Merritt committed a crime. If the upcoming criminal trial is anything like the preliminary hearings, we can expect to hear witness testimonies from former Planned Parenthood abortionists, StemExpress executives, and National Abortion Federation executives. Witnesses in the preliminary hearings admitted to selling whole fetuses and attached baby heads, harvesting beating hearts from live fetuses, and Planned Parenthood’s deficient ethical and medical standards.
As the former attorney general of California, Kamala Harris sought to prosecute Daleiden at the behest of her political donors at Planned Parenthood. Harris ordered a search warrant against Daleiden in 2016 and a raid of his apartment, seizing his computer, camera equipment, and footage. Since Daleiden is a citizen journalist, California shield lawsshould have protected his unreleased footage from search warrants.
Email records show Harris’ office corresponded with Planned Parenthood officials, orchestrating public responses, filing police reports, and even drafting legislation targeting Daleiden. Harris has received tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from Planned Parenthood-affiliated entities.
After the preliminary hearings in September, Daleiden told Tucker Carlson, “It’s blackletter California law that you are not supposed to get a search warrant to seize the unpublished materials of a journalist, whether citizen journalist or professional journalist. But that’s what Kamala Harris did … to protect [Planned Parenthood] from further scrutiny from the crimes of selling aborted baby body parts.”
And more from the SF Chronicle:
Two antiabortion activists who posed as fetal researchers to gain entrance to conferences of abortion providers must stand trial on nine felony charges of secretly recording conversations with the participants, a San Francisco judge ruled Friday.
The judge dismissed five additional charges, saying the recorded conversations took place in public places.
The state attorney general’s office filed the charges against David Daleiden, leader of a group called the Center for Medical Progress, and an employee, Sandra Merritt. Identifying themselves as researchers for a nonexistent company called BioMax Procurement Services, they gained entry to the conventions of the National Abortion Federation in San Francisco in 2014 and in Baltimore in 2015, and to Planned Parenthood meetings.
They said afterward that they had been acting as investigative journalists to expose alleged plots by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to sell fetal parts. After they posted videos of the meetings, which Planned Parenthood said had been heavily edited, both the abortion federation and Planned Parenthood said its members were subjected to harassment and death threats. A number of states also cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.
In a separate case, a federal court jury awarded more than $2.2 millionin damages to Planned Parenthood last month in a suit against Daleiden, Merritt and others in their organization. They plan to appeal.
The criminal charges were filed under a California law that prohibits recording conversations without the consent of all participants.Daleiden and Merritt contend they are covered by an exemption in the law that allows secret recordings to gather evidence about plans to commit a violent felony. In Friday’s ruling, which followed a two-week preliminary hearing, Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite said a jury could decide whether the two intended to record confidential conversations and, if so, whether they reasonably believed a violent crime was being planned.While they also argued that the conversations they recorded could have been overheard by others, Hite said prosecutors had presented enough evidence to allow a future jury to decide whether discussions with eight abortion providers were confidential. The ninth charge he approved for trial accuses the pair of conspiring to violate the confidentiality law.The judge dismissed five additional charges involving conversations that took place in a San Francisco hotel elevator and balcony, and restaurants in Los Angeles and El Dorado Hills (El Dorado County). In each case, Hite said, others were present during at least part of the discussions, and the abortion providers made no apparent attempt to lower their voices or keep the talks confidential.