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 laws should 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.”
Pro-life activist Lila Rose noted the double standard that exists for undercover journalists in California. “The same year David and Sandra published their recordings of Planned Parenthood employees haggling over the price of aborted baby body parts, videos taken by undercover animal rights activists were praised and led to investigations of abuse in the poultry industry by then-Attorney General Kamala Harris,” she said in a statement.