The Department of Justice is launching a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices and its alleged involvement in the sale of body parts of aborted babies.
Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd has formally requested unredacted documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee, reports Fox News. According to the news report, the letter requesting the documents – sent to committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) – “is a rare confirmation of a federal investigation.”
“The Department of Justice appreciates the offer of assistance in obtaining these materials, and would like to request the Committee provide unredacted copies of records contained in the report, in order to further the Department’s ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of that report based on the full range of information available,” Boyd wrote in the letter obtained by Fox News.
“At this point, the records are intended for investigative use only—we understand that a resolution from the Senate may be required if the Department were to use any of the unredacted materials in a formal legal proceeding, such as a grand jury,” he added.
Breitbart News reported at the end of September that the FBI’s assistant director of the Office of Congressional Affairs had sent a letter to Grassley, informing him the agency was in receipt of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s criminal referrals of Planned Parenthood and its partners in the fetal tissue procurement industry.
“We can confirm the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) of FBI Headquarters received your referrals and sent them to the relevant FBI field offices for review and whatever action is deemed appropriate,” the FBI’s Gregory Brower wrote to Grassley in June.
In his correspondence, Brower apologized to Grassley “for the delay in responding to your inquiry” and indicated receipt of the chairman’s letter, dated April 24, to both former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions “concerning criminal referrals you made on December 13, 2016, to the FBI and Department of Justice.”
Both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives conducted expansive investigations into Planned Parenthood and its partners in the biomedical procurement industry. The investigations concerned allegations of profiteering from the sale of fetal body parts that arose from an undercover video series exposé by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).
The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2).
The Senate Judiciary Committee referred Planned Parenthood to both the FBI and the Justice Department for investigation and possible criminal prosecution.
Based on its findings, the Judiciary Committee’s Majority Staff Report concluded that Planned Parenthood’s partners in the biomedical procurement industry paid the abortion chain’s affiliates for the body parts of aborted babies “and then sold the fetal tissue to their respective customers at substantially higher prices than their documented costs.”
“The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) initially had a policy in place to ensure its affiliates were complying with the law, but the affiliates failed to follow its fetal tissue reimbursement policy,” the report continued. “When PPFA learned in 2011 of this situation, PPFA cancelled the policy rather than exercise oversight to bring the affiliates back into compliance. Thus, PPFA not only turned a blind eye to the affiliates’ violations of its fetal tissue policy, but also altered its own oversight procedures enabling those affiliates’ practices to continue unimpeded.”
“This is long-awaited, good news,” says Abby Johnson, who heads And Then There Were None – an organization that helps abortion industry workers leave their jobs.
“Planned Parenthood has actively participated in illegal activity, selling the body parts of aborted babies in exchange for profit,” she said in a statement sent to Breitbart News. “They’ve lied to the very women they purport to fight for. I saw it first-hand when I worked for the abortion giant and yet, they still manage to obtain over half a billion dollars a year in our tax dollars. Congress should immediately halt any money to the abortion giant until the FBI completes their investigation.”