Lawyers Promise to Smoke Out Collusion with Planned Parenthood Videographer’s Prosecutor

David Daleiden, one of the two anti-abortion activists indicted last week, speaks to supporters outside the Harris County Criminal Courthouse after turning himself in to authorities Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Houston. Daleiden and Sandra Merritt are charged with tampering with a governmental record, a felony punishable by up to …
AP File Photo/Bob Levey

HOUSTON, Texas — A lawyer for Planned Parenthood undercover videographer David Daleiden says that the cozy relationship and collusion between prosecutors and a Planned Parenthood lawyer will be smoked out when they put the huge abortion mill lawyer on the stand.

Houston attorney Jared Woodfill, one of Daleiden’s lawyers told Breitbart Texas, “The collusion between the DA and Planned Parenthood lawyers will be flushed out during this hearing. We will put Planned Parenthood’s lawyer on the stand and will expose the witch hunt that ended up with the indictment of my client but let baby part selling Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast get off scot-free.”

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and Daleiden faced a felony district court judge on Wednesday to report when they would be ready to call witnesses on the allegations raised in Daleiden’s motion to quash his indictment. The judge set a hearing for July 26th wherein witnesses will be called and evidence presented on the motion on the felony indictment, including allegations that the District Attorney colluded with a Planned Parenthood lawyer. Planned Parenthood lawyers asked the judge to postpone the hearing during a prior conference.

Daleiden’s lawyers filed motions to quash his indictments urging that the lawyer for Planned Parenthood has colluded with Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, and even received important evidence from a prosecutor at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office (HCDAO). The Planned Parenthood lawyer, Josh Schaffer, admits that he received an undercover video from the DA and that he talked to the prosecutor overseeing the Planned Parenthood case about indicting the undercover videographers.

On Tuesday, Breitbart Texas published an exclusive report that one of Daleiden lawyers, Thomas More Society Special Counsel Peter Breen was livid 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.” Breitbart Texas’s report attached court filings and the affidavit of the Planned Parenthood lawyer wherein he admits that a prosecutor gave him a copy of the video taken at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) in Houston.

Breen says the prosecutor communicating with Planned Parenthood lawyer Josh Schaffer, “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 grand jury no billed Karpen in 2013 during DA Devon Anderson’s administration. The alleged late-term abortionist had been accused of atrocities, one of which was killing babies after they had been born alive.

Breen called the conduct at the HCDAO “outrageous and illegal.” In a statement provided to Breitbart Texas he also added that “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.”

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.” The video was of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Director of Research Melissa Farrell. PPGC is a mega-abortion facility located in Houston. One of the claims that Farrell makes on the tape is that PPGC in Houston has more revenue from research proceeds than all the other Planned Parenthood facilities combined.

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.

There have been no indictments against Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast by the Harris County grand jury. The grand jury instead indicted Daleiden and Merritt for felony tampering with a government record. Daleiden was also indicted for the misdemeanor charge of offering to buy fetal tissue.

Texas leaders, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, responded to the indictments of the pro-life activists by vowing to continue their investigation into the practices at Texas abortion facilities. As reported by Breitbart Texas, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, responded that investigations by the OAG and the Health and Human Service Commission’s Inspector General were ongoing.

Texas Right to Life responded to the indictments by stating, “The outcome conceals the greater crime of dismembering preborn children and demonstrates the need for a law to stop these brutal, inhumane practices.” The pro-life organization applauded Governor Abbott for reaffirming his commitment to investigate the criminal activity at the abortion mills. They said “we are confident that he and his team will achieve what the Harris County kangaroo court failed to do.”

As reported by Breitbart Texas in mid-April, Daleiden’s lawyers filed motions to quash his indictments urging that the Planned Parenthood lawyer, Josh Schaffer, boasted during a press conference that prosecutors maintained a “dialogue” with him “throughout” the grand jury proceedings and told him that the grand jury’s focus later “shifted” to Daleiden. Schaffer admits in his affidavit that he told the prosecutor that he believed Daleiden and Merritt had broken the law for felony tampering with a government document, and that Daleiden had committed a crime by offering to buy fetal tissue.

Daleiden’s lawyers also urge that Schaffer boasted that the grand jury never even took a vote on whether or not to indict Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, nor did they call a single witness from PPGC before the grand jury.

In addition, Daleiden’s lawyers urge that the District Attorney did not follow the law when she told Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federal lawyers that Daleiden and Merritt had been indicted by a grand jury. The move by the DA to tell abortion mill lawyers of the indictments at that point has been called by defense lawyers “an unusual move.” The response to Daleiden’s motions filed by the DA admits that her office did not follow the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure but said that the oversight was a technical violation that cannot serve as a basis for quashing the indictments. The DA’s response is attached to the Breitbart Texas article.

Daleiden’s lawyers also assert that the grand jury that indicted Daleiden and Merritt, was without proper authority to issue the indictments because the order holding them over to a new term lacked the legal requirements. In the State’s written response, the DA argues that the law allows a judge to extend a grand jury beyond its term if the grand jury is investigating matters already before it. Moreover, making the request even more specific by naming the individual or case being investigated would violate grand jury secrecy.

Activists say that the extension of the grand jury allowed the indictments to occur in late January right after the legal deadline in which another Republican could file to run against DA Devon Anderson in the primary. Given the secret nature of grand jury proceedings, it is unknown whether or not the grand jury investigated Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, or was investigating PPGC prior to the prosecutor getting the judge to sign an order extending the term of the grand jury. As briefed in the DA’s response, the law allows a grand jury to be held over beyond its term if they are in the middle of an investigation.

The indictments of Daleiden and Merritt surprised pro-life advocates who expected that an investigation of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston would result in criminal action against Planned Parenthood executives for selling baby body parts. Anti-abortion activists have started a petition drive that asks Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson to drop the charges. The petition drive started by is nearing the 30,000 signature mark as of the time of the publication of this article.

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. They are raising money to help pay for Daleiden’s legal defense (found at this link).

Although not mentioned in this article, Houston defense lawyer Terry Yates is also working on Daleiden’s defense.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2


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