Charges dropped: Planned Parenthood, Houston D.A. attack on video journalists falls through

Charges dropped: Planned Parenthood, Houston D.A. attack on video journalists falls through

As Hillary Clinton claims her crown in Philadelphia, a little good news to round out Tuesday with.  Just before the Harris County, Texas (Houston area) district attorney was supposed to begin the trial of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the videographers who captured Planned Parenthood selling baby parts, the D.A. dropped the remaining charge against them (of tampering with government documents), rather than submit it to a judge’s scrutiny.

The ham-sandwich indictment has collapsed.  Daleiden and Merritt are off the hook — a hook they should never have been on in the first place.

The original indictment was summarized here back in January.  The Harris County prosecutor, tasked by the state of Texas to investigate Planned Parenthood after video evidence showed a PP-centered network of baby-parts trafficking, decided instead to investigate the video journalists of Center for Medical Progress.  Under the prosecutor’s direction, a grand jury indicted Daleiden and Merritt on counts of soliciting the sale of human organs, and tampering with government documents.

The fact that two top staffers in the prosecutor’s office had close ties to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC), including the D.A. herself, was an obvious conflict of interest.  Besides D.A. Devon Anderson, who had received big campaign donations from the PP-linked attorney for a Houston abortionist, one of her staff attorneys, Lauren Reeder, sits on the board of PPGC.

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As the Federalist later reported, a PPGC attorney admitted under oath that a third member of the prosecutor’s office, Sunni Mitchell, attempted to illegally share information on the case with PPGC’s attorneys.  This was illegal because the Texas AG who provided the information to Harris County did so stipulating that it not be shared with PPGC or its representatives.  (PPGC was never indicted for anything, and therefore, no one at PPGC was entitled to disclosure.)

At any rate, the first count of soliciting the sale of human organs was dismissed by a judge in June.   Now Harris County has decided not to take the bogus tampering charge to trial, and dropped it on the eve of the trial’s opening.

Frankly, the entire Harris County D.A.’s office would benefit from a good wirebrushing.  The attorneys charged with the public interest should have to lose at least as much time, money, and freedom defending themselves as Daleiden and Merritt have had to.  If there were any justice, they would lose their licenses to practice law, at the very least.

Meanwhile, Daleiden has another hurdle to take in California, his state of residence.  Attorney General Kamala Harris (a radical-left Democrat and now a candidate for U.S. Senate) had his home raided in April and seized his videos, including one that had not yet been released.  Harris, like D.A. Devon Anderson, has received campaign funding from PP-linked donors, and unabashedly touts her connection to Planned Parenthood.  If she can find a way to keep David Daleiden twisting on a hook, she will.

Although it’s good news that Daleiden and Merritt have been released from this unjust indictment, it’s important not to forget what they had to go through.  Misusing the judicial system to torment the people for exercising their constitutional rights is one of the main ways the progressive left weaponizes government against Americans.  It’s a way of suppressing truth and freedom: making the price so high that most people don’t want to pay it.  The struggle for our rightful freedoms isn’t supposed to be against our own government institutions.  That’s the point of constitutional protections like the Bill of Rights.  The longer we let officials like Anderson, Harris, Reeder, and Mitchell go scot-free after abusing members of the public, the worse this will get.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.