California is now trying to punish both David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt for exposing Planned Parenthood’s selling of baby parts. They are charging both with 15 felonies for recording ‘private’ conversations, even though they were all recorded in public:
AP – California prosecutors on Tuesday charged two anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood with 15 felonies, saying they invaded the privacy of medical providers by filming without consent.
The charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress come eight months after similar charges were dropped in Texas.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a longtime Congressional Democrat who took over the investigation in January, said in a statement that the state “will not tolerate the criminal recording of conversations.”
Prosecutors say Daleiden, of Davis, California, and Merritt, of San Jose, filmed 14 people without permission between October 2013 and July 2015 in Los Angeles, San Francisco and El Dorado counties. One felony count was filed for each person. The 15th was for criminal conspiracy to invade privacy.
Daleiden said in an email to The Associated Press that the “bogus” charges are coming from “Planned Parenthood’s political cronies.”
“The public knows the real criminals are Planned Parenthood and their business partners,” Daleiden said.
How ridiculous. The recordings all took place in public, either at restaurants or at abortion conferences.
As the Federalist points out, the AG filing the charges against Daleiden and Merritt was a Democratic member of Congress in California is only continuing the bogus investigation that his predecessor started, Kamala Harris:
Yesterday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced 15 charges against the pro-life journalists for recording their conversations with those involved in the fetal organ trade. Becerra left his post as a Democratic member of Congress to replace Kamala Harris as attorney general when she was elected to the U.S. Senate. A longtime supporter of Planned Parenthood, Harris began the investigation into the pro-life journalists, rather than those involved in the fetal organ trade, in late 2015.
Here’s the statement from Daleiden’s company, Center for Medical Progress:
The bogus charges from Planned Parenthood’s political cronies are fake news. They tried the same collusion with corrupt officials in Houston, TX and failed: both the charges and the DA were thrown out. The public knows the real criminals are Planned Parenthood and their business partners like StemExpress and DV Biologics—currently being prosecuted in California—who have harvested and sold aborted baby body parts for profit for years in direct violation of state and federal law. We look forward to showing the entire world what is on our yet-unreleased video tapes of Planned Parenthood’s criminal baby body parts enterprise, in vindication of the First Amendment rights of all.
Daleiden responded on Twitter to the charges:
The last time @PPact colluded with political cronies to persecute citizen journalists, both charges AND corrupt DA thrown out! BRING IT ON!!
— David Daleiden (@daviddaleiden) March 29, 2017
Here are just a few responses from Twitter:
Either media support for the antiabortion group will be off the charts, or everything journos have said about their profession was a lie.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) March 29, 2017
Pay attention. Any media figure silent about what's happening to CMP supports the authoritarianism of which they breathlessly accuse Trump.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) March 29, 2017
Those cheering or silent about this INSANE overreach can spare me their concerns over press freedom under DT. https://t.co/PukvjVkk7H
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) March 29, 2017
Make undercover videos of animal abuse? Win journalism awards. Make undercover videos of PP? Criminal charges. https://t.co/4kIT910eTX
— Jason C. (@CounterMoonbat) March 29, 2017
California is one party rule and it's celebrated by the media. https://t.co/g7lTOaTeYC
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) March 29, 2017
I'm yet to see a single "Democracy Dies In Darkness" blue checkmark condemn California's AG for criminalizing investigative journalism.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) March 29, 2017