U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick of San Francisco has fined the undercover video journalist who exposed Planned Parenthood’s alleged involvement in the fetal trafficking industry and his attorneys $200,000 for publishing online video footage of abortionists.
Orrick said he hoped the fine against David Daleiden and his attorneys, Steve Cooley and Brentford Ferreira, would cause them to comply with his order barring the release of the videos in the future, reports the Associated Press.
Daleiden heads Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and posed as a potential buyer of fetal body parts during lunch meetings with Planned Parenthood officials and at annual trade shows of the National Abortion Federation (NAF). He has appealed the gag order to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The pro-life journalist and his attorneys claim the order is unconstitutional and against his First Amendment rights. Orrick’s order prohibited publication of undercover footage of the Planned Parenthood officials during the NAF trade shows on the basis that it could endanger the abortionists.
A post on CMP’s Facebook page comments on the sanctions issued by Orrick:
A federal judge who helped open and run a Planned Parenthood clinic is now holding David Daleiden and his attorneys in contempt just for trying to defend him with the same videos the Attorney General is using in his prosecution. Judge Orrick’s contempt sanctions are an unconscionable attack on his rights to defend himself in a court of law by a judge whose extrajudicial interest in Planned Parenthood’s success is well-established.
Daleiden and CMP have a pending motion that requests the disqualification of Orrick “on the grounds that there is evidence of bias in favor of the plaintiff and prejudice against the defendants.”
Evidence uncovered by Daleiden and his attorneys includes that the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center – an entity that is in partnership with a Planned Parenthood affiliate, a member of NAF – has named Orrick as an emeritus member of its board.
In addition, Orrick’s wife’s Facebook account was found to have included posted public comments – along with a photo of her and her husband – that indicate support for Planned Parenthood and criticism of Daleiden and CMP.
Matthew Geragos, an attorney for Cooley and Ferreira, said he is appealing Orrick’s ruling.
Planned Parenthood celebrated the order:
“Today’s decision to move forward with the criminal case is a clear victory for those of us who believe in the courts and the laws of California,” Crystal Strait, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California told SF Weekly, adding:
The illegally obtained and maliciously edited video smear campaign launched by anti-abortion operatives threatened the safety and health of our patients and staff. The decision is another step forward for us, allowing Planned Parenthood to focus on providing preventive and reproductive health care to close to one million Californians every year.
Daleiden’s attorneys, however, maintain the charges against their client are politically motivated.
The video journalist achieved a victory recently when a federal court sided with him in a lawsuit against him by the taxpayer-funded University of Washington’s lab workers and abortion facility staff attempting to hide their identifying information from the public. The court decided that taxpayers have a right to see how their tax dollars are used.
Under suspicion of bias, charges brought against Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merritt in Harris County, Texas also were ultimately dropped.
Two pro-choice law professors wrote the indictment of Daleiden and Merrit amounted to “a stunning act of legal jujitsu” and was a “deeply disturbing” outcome both for the First Amendment and undercover citizen journalists attempting to expose corruption.
Though Planned Parenthood continues to deny any wrongdoing in the alleged sale of aborted baby body parts, the organization also released a statement in October of 2015 announcing it would no longer accept payments for aborted fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood and its leftwing media supporters continue to insist the videos produced by CMP were “deceptively edited.”
However, a Democrat opposition research firm named Fusion GPS – hired by Planned Parenthood itself to review the videos – said while their analysts observed the videos had been edited, “the analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.”
Additionally, Fusion noted, “[A]nalysts found no evidence that CMP inserted dialogue not spoken by Planned Parenthood staff.”
An analysis by Coalfire, a third-party forensics company hired by Alliance Defending Freedom, found that the videos were “not manipulated” and that they are “authentic.”
Fusion GPS is the same firm that commissioned a dossier on President Donald Trump.