The jury in the federal civil case brought against the undercover video journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood in its alleged trafficking of the body parts of aborted babies found in favor of Planned Parenthood Friday.
In the case of Planned Parenthood v. Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the jury found the pro-life journalists caused significant harm to the abortion chain with its sting video series and awarded punitive damages to the abortion chain of over $2.2 million, according to the Thomas More Society, which represented David Daleiden, who headed the CMP project.
In a statement, Daleiden said:
Justice was not done today in San Francisco. While top Planned Parenthood witnesses spent six weeks testifying under oath that the undercover videos are true and Planned Parenthood sold fetal organs on a quid pro quo basis, a biased judge with close Planned Parenthood ties spent six weeks trying to influence the jury with pre-determined rulings and suppressed the video evidence, all in order to rubber-stamp Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit attack on the First Amendment. This is a dangerous precedent for citizen journalism and First Amendment civil rights across the country, sending a message that speaking truth and facts to criticize the powerful is no longer protected by our institutions.
Prior to the start of the trial, U.S. District Judge William Orrick III ruled the jury would not be allowed to consider any information Daleiden gleaned from the video recordings.
According to the jury verdict form, the jury responded to the designated questions asked that it found the defendants breached the 2015 Planned Parenthood Federation of America national conference exhibitor and nondisclosure agreements. Additionally, the jury said Daleiden, Sandra Merritt, and their colleagues all committed fraud or conspired “to commit fraud through intentional misrepresentation.”
The jury also found that all the defendants were in violation of the Federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) or conspired to violate RICO.
Orrick has been the subject of controversy as he presided over the case, during which he imposed a gag order on CMP regarding the online publication of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) and Planned Parenthood video footage. Daleiden and his attorneys claimed the order violated their First Amendment rights.
CMP had requested Orrick’s disqualification “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 included that the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center — an entity that is in partnership with a Planned Parenthood affiliate, a member of the NAF — had 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.
Planned Parenthood has yet to be prosecuted for any of the allegations of profiting from the sales of the body parts of babies aborted in its clinics.
In June, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and his predecessor Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), current chairman of the Committee on Finance, wrote to Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray, seeking an update on the federal investigation that was supposedly launched in 2017 into the allegations raised, in part, through the video documentation by CMP.
The senators asked Barr and Wray to respond to their inquiry no later than July 2.
In August, Breitbart News reached out to the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) press team for an update on the Department of Justice/FBI response and was informed SJC was still awaiting a response.
The case is Planned Parenthood Federation of America v. The Center for Medical Progress, No. 3:16-cv-00236-WHO, in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California.