A defense attorney for undercover journalist David Daleiden said the federal judge hearing the civil case brought by Planned Parenthood has blocked the jury from seeing the videos that are central to the case.
“The problem that we’ve got is that the judge is allowing input of evidence of every injury that Planned Parenthood and their allies suffered at the hands of the negative public relations, and yet not allowing us to even put in the videos that the public was reacting to,” Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society told Breitbart News in an interview.
“So, there’s a principle in the law that has been recognized that David and his team are not responsible for the reaction to the contents of the video,” he continued:
And, so, the reaction of the public is, to some extent, not relevant to the damages that are being claimed by Planned Parenthood. But the judge is letting those in. He’s letting them talk all about their, you know the terrible public relations they took.
But at the same time, we’ve not been able, thus far, to show any of the videos that caused this great public reaction. And Planned Parenthood is trying to get damages, after the publication of the videos that they say weren’t caused by the public reactions.
Daleiden himself tweeted the judge’s decision to prevent the jury from seeing the videos is a violation of “due process”:
BREAKING: major due process violations in trial vs @PPFA as PP convinces Judge Orrick to BAN us from showing the jury the exact video conversations that PP is suing for!
— David Daleiden (@daviddaleiden) October 8, 2019
Breen said the problem for his team is they need to show public reaction to the videos, which depicted top-level Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price of body parts of aborted babies, was “overwhelming.”
“And there’s good reason for it, because the videos, showed evidence of terrible crimes and the willingness to commit those crimes by top officials at Planned Parenthood,” he said. “We’re fighting as hard as we can, but based on the recent rulings, we’re having a fight with one hand tied behind our back, possibly both.”
As the Federalist reported, in opening statements, Judge William Orrick of U.S. District Court in San Francisco instructed the jury the case “is not about the truth of whether plaintiffs profited from the sale of fetal tissue or otherwise violated the law in securing tissue for those programs.”
“Those issues are a matter of dispute between the parties in the world outside this courtroom,” the judge added.
Breen told Breitbart News:
Imagine what it is going to be like for these jurors to sit through six weeks of Planned Parenthood talking about all the terrible things that happened to them, none of which should be relevant to damages.
And yet, we’re going to be unable to talk about why those things were actually happening, in defense.
“Unfortunately, it’s starting to look like we’re engaged in a game of heads Planned Parenthood wins, tails we lose – on the presentation of evidence,” Breen added.
Daleiden reported as well on Center for Medical Progress’s (CMP) website:
At Planned Parenthood’s request, Judge Orrick refused to allow the Defense to show the jury the exact video conversations that Planned Parenthood is suing for. It is the jury’s job to assess whether the conversations are “private” or “confidential” under applicable state law–yet Planned Parenthood and Judge Orrick are barring the actual recordings of these conversations from the courtroom. Adrian Lopez, one of CMP’s undercover investigators, took the witness stand and was accused by Planned Parenthood of videotaping so-called “private” conversations at a National Abortion Federation trade show in Baltimore, MD, yet defense attorney Paul Jonna was not allowed to play video of the conversation itself, a graphic discussion with Plaintiff Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast leadership, to allow Lopez and CMP to defend against Planned Parenthood’s accusation. Ironically, Planned Parenthood was allowed to play multiple recordings of undercover conversations during their questioning.
Planned Parenthood initially sought over $20 million in damages, but those damages have since been reduced to several hundred thousands of dollars, in addition to legal and attorney fees, which could yet run into millions of dollars.
Daleiden and Merritt were slapped with 15 felony counts of recording confidential information without consent by the office of the California Attorney General (AG), including its past AG, current U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, and her successor, Xavier Becerra.
Harris received thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Planned Parenthood, and, subsequently, she and her office raided Daleiden’s home and seized his personal property, including his laptop, instead of prosecuting Planned Parenthood.
The preliminary hearing at San Francisco’s Superior Court concluded in September.