A misdemeanor charge against anti-abortion activist David Daleiden for offering to buy human tissue during his undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood was dropped in a Texas court by Presiding Judge Diane Bull.
Congressional Democrats have pointed to the charges against Daleiden as evidence that he fraudulently made claims about Planned Parenthood selling fetal tissue for profit in his videos.
Harris County Judge Diane Bull said her court lacked jurisdiction to proceed with Daleiden’s misdemeanor case because of a technical omission in the original indictment.
“The dismissal of the first indictment today sends a strong message to Planned Parenthood and their political cronies that colluding to suppress the First Amendment rights of citizen journalists will never work”, said the Center for Medical Progress, the group founded by Daleiden. In finding that the indictment was void on its face, Judge Bull’s ruling directly contradicts the District Attorney’s argument that the indictment was valid despite the DA’s collusion with Planned Parenthood. He remains charged with a felony indictment of tampering with a government document.
Attorney General Anderson has defended her indictment of Daleiden – despite the fact that a board member of the Planned Parenthood abortion mill works as a prosecutor in her office.
Daleiden has been offered a probation deal in which, if he keeps a clean record for a certain period of time, charges would be dropped, prosecutors said in February. The District Attorney’s office and Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast did not return requests for comment.
Following the indictment, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson justified the grand jury’s detour from the investigation’s original objective by stating: “As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us”. Jeff McShan, a spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, added that prosecutors won’t refile the misdemeanor count.
The misdemeanor charge for trying to procure fetal tissue carries a punishment of up to one year in jail. That felony is pending and will be considered by a different judge. And he felt it necessary to hide his real identity with the marked-up license.
But their plan to expose (or rather, failure to expose) wrongdoing at Planned Parenthood backfired in January.
Federal courts have blocked attempts to cut off Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood in other states. Planned Parenthood executives and officials were found to be allegedly engaging in the illegal sales of the body parts of aborted babies.