HOUSTON, Texas — The lawyer for Planned Parenthood who has been accused of colluding with the Harris County DA against the Planned Parenthood undercover videographer, signed an affidavit to deny this charge, but admits that a prosecutor gave him a copy of the undercover video.
As reported on April 14, Jared Woodfill, a lawyer for undercover videographer David Daleiden told Breitbart Texas, “We have clear evidence that the DA is colluding with Planned Parenthood.” The District Attorney in Harris County, Texas, is Devon Anderson.
David Daleiden, is the president and founder of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Daleiden’s undercover videos have sought to expose Planned Parenthood practices as it relates to any selling of baby parts and tissue.
Breitbart News reported on August 4, 2015, that “A video just released by the Center for Medical Progress taken undercover in Texas shows a Planned Parenthood research director discussing the sale of whole intact aborted babies to a company that resells them to medical researchers.”
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick immediately publicly condemned the video, and asked Harris County DA Devon Anderson to conduct an investigation, as reported by Breitbart Texas.
On April 14, Breitbart Texas reported that Daleiden’s lawyers filed motions to quash his indictments urging that at a “press conference, Mr. Josh Schaffer, counsel for Planned Parenthood, boasted that he ‘explicitly pushed prosecutors’ to charge Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt.”
Now, another Daleiden lawyer, Thomas More Society Special Counsel Peter Breen released a statement to Breitbart Texas on Monday asserting that “The recent filings by the Harris County District Attorney confirm that the DA shared confidential documents and information with abortion provider Planned Parenthood, colluding with it in the prosecution of David Daleiden.”
Breen continued, “These filings also include evidence that appears to show that the DA’s office worked with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to undermine the Texas Attorney General’s independent investigation of that abortion provider. The conduct of Harris County prosecutors in this case is outrageous and illegal. We look forward to pressing our motion to quash this indictment in court.”
As to the prosecutor communicating with Schaffer, Breen adds, “ADA Sunni Mitchell, was responsible in 2013 for a Grand Jury that no-billed Houston’s late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen, after photographs and eyewitness testimony implicated him in illegal late-term abortions and homicide of born-alive infants, similar to Philadelphia’s notoriously convicted Kermit Gosnell.” Breitbart News reported when the Harris County grand jury no billed the late term abortionist who was accused of killing babies who had been born alive.
Daleiden’s lawyers also assert that “The Josh Schaffer press conference, on behalf of PPGC (Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast), wherein Mr. Schaffer explicitly states he was kept abreast of the Grand Jury’s happenings by someone from the prosecutor’s office clearly proves the secrecy of these proceedings were severely compromised.” They assert that “throughout the investigation, prosecutors did not provide similar details about the grand jury proceedings to Mr. Daleiden’s counsel.”
A Harris County grand jury indicted David Daleiden and Sandra (Susan) Merritt after they obtained undercover videos and other information from executives at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC). Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is a mega-abortion facility located in Houston and was one of the facilities stung by the undercover videos produced by Daleiden and Merritt, as reported by Breitbart News.
There have been no indictments involving Planned Parenthood, and Daleiden and Merritt were indicted for felony tampering with a government record. Daleiden was also indicted for the misdemeanor charge of offering to buy fetal tissue.
Daleiden’s motions to quash accuse Planned Parenthood’s lawyer, Josh Schaffer, of claiming the following during a press conference:
- That he and prosecutors maintained a “dialogue … about the details of the case, and kept that going throughout” the grand jury proceedings;
- Prosecutors confided in him that the grand jury’s focus had later “shifted” to Daleiden;
- The grand jury never took an up-or-down vote on a bill (a possible indictment) for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, the entity whose crimes they were charged to investigate, and
- Prosecutors did not call a single witness from PPGC before the grand jury.
Daleiden’s lawyers also assert, “To further demonstrate collusion with pro-abortion lawyers, an attorney for the National Abortion Foundation, Mr. Derek Foran, announced to the world via The New York Times that he had insider information and ‘learned about the indictments in Texas about a half-hour before they were publicly announced.’” They charge, “it is well settled that no person may disclose the existence of an indictment as it is to be kept secret until the defendant is in custody or has been released on bond pending trial.”
Past president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association (HCCLA), Carmen Roe, told Breitbart Texas, “It’s an unusual move for prosecutors to publicly announce an indictment on a felony charge when a defendant is not in custody or on bond. This type of premature announcement, particularly in a high profile case, can create safety concerns for the public and law enforcement.”
The affidavit of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast lawyer, Josh Schaffer, is attached to the DA’s response to Daleiden’s motions to quash (motions, affidavit, and exhibits attached below). Schaffer affirms under oath that:
- No time during the course of the DA investigation did he inquire about, nor did a prosecutor reveal to him, any aspect of any grand jury activity.
- With the exception of unedited video footage recorded by Daleiden, he does not know what evidence was presented to the grand jury. He said he did not know and did not ask how the DA’s office obtained that material.
- He did not know then and does not know now, if the DA ever presented any of that video footage to a grand jury.
- As it relates to the allegation that he “explicitly pushed prosecutors to charge” Daleiden and Merritt, he admits he said he believed the pair had committed crimes when they used false driver’s licenses to enter the Planned Parenthood facility in Houston, and “when Daleiden thereafter offered to purchase fetal tissue from PPGC for valuable consideration.”
- He also gave the DA Merritt’s name after he found out who she was. Merritt had used the name “Susan Tennebaum” when she visited PPGC in April of 2015, he said.
- On January 25, 2016, a prosecutor called him to tell him that the grand jury had decided to take no action against PPGC. He averred, “At first, it was not clear to me if that meant that PPGC had been ‘no-billed’ or if it meant that the grand jury did not even vote on whether to indict PPGC. I questioned her about what that meant. I knew that a ‘no bill’ would be a public record on file … Because I knew that [the prosecutor] was prohibited from revealing anything that the grand jury told her, I asked her if there would be a ‘no-bill’ of PPGC or any of its employees on file with the district clerk. She said that there would not be any ‘no-bills.’ I then asked her if the absence of any ‘true bills’ and ‘no-bills’ meant that the grand jury did not even vote on whether to indict PPGC and any of its employees. She repeated that there would not be any ‘true bills’ or ‘no-bills’ on file with the clerk and that I should understand what that meant. I inferred from her response that the grand jury had not even voted on whether to indict PPGC or any of its employees.”
- The prosecutor declined to answer whether Daleiden or Merritt had been indicted but said the DA would be issuing a press release later that afternoon.
- He denies “collud[ing]” with prosecutors. He says he produced records, answered questions, made employees available for interviews, and gave prosecutors and law enforcement agents a tour of the PPGC facility.
- “Furthermore, to my knowledge, no HCDAO prosecutor or law enforcement agent who participated in the investigation violated any law, much less any grand jury confidentialities, in their dealings with me.”
The indictments of Daleiden and Merritt surprised pro-life advocates who expected that an investigation of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast would result in criminal action against Planned Parenthood executives for selling baby body parts.
Lawyers representing Daleiden from the Thomas More Society contend that Planned Parenthood wants to jail, and financially destroy Daleiden because he is the undercover sting video producer. In addition to the indictments against Daleiden and Merritt, Planned Parenthood has filed a federal racketeering (RICO) lawsuit against them.
Thomas More Society lawyers assert that the National Abortion Federation is fighting “to shut down free speech and to cover-up evidence of the abortion industry’s crimes in aborted baby parts trafficking.” The Thomas More Society is defending Daleiden against these lawsuits.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.