David Daleiden of the Center For Medical Progress, who recorded Planned Parenthood executives conspiring to sell the body parts of aborted babies, may have a chance for charges against him to be dismissed after years of court battles in California.
Daleiden’s lawyers filed a motion on Wednesday to “quash and traverse” the search warrant, meaning to challenge the underlying probable cause that the judge relied on in issuing the search warrant used to seize unreleased videos from Daleiden’s home.
The California attorney general at the time was Kamala Harris, a long time pro-abortion advocate who is now a U.S. senator and leading Democratic presidential candidate. She has received tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from Planned Parenthood-affiliated entities. It was Harris who ordered the search warrant against Daleiden in 2016 that his lawyers are now arguing was “served without probable cause and in bad faith,” and should therefore be thrown out.
In the motion, Daleiden’s lawyers include email exchanges between Harris’s office and Planned Parenthood executives working together to obtain a search warrant for Daleiden’s unreleased videos, despite California laws protecting citizen journalists from these kinds of legal attacks. They also include evidence that the state’s own special investigative team did not believe they had probable cause to search and seize Daleiden’s property.
“This is not an honest prosecution but rather a political favor to Planned Parenthood. It appears that the investigative staff had to be coerced into serving a search warrant that they opposed,” the motion reads.
The unreleased videos and documents specifically sought after by the search warrant should have been protected by the California shield law protecting citizen journalists’ unpublished materials. Yet the Department of Justice under Harris’ command searched Daleiden’s home and took many of his personal belongings.
If the search warrant is thrown out, the charges in the case, which include felony charges of recording private conversations and the conspiracy to do so, will also have to be dismissed for lack of probable cause.
After a hearing in February this year, Daleiden said one could see the collusion between Planned Parenthood and the attorney general’s office happening in the courtroom in real time.
“This case was brought by Kamala Harris on behalf of Planned Parenthood,” he said. “The attorney general’s office brought this case for that reason and that reason only…to prop up Planned Parenthood’s political narrative.”