The Harris County District Attorney’s (DA) office dismissed all charges Tuesday against David Daleiden, the pro-life journalist who filmed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the ins and outs of fetal harvesting.
Daleiden and accomplice Sandra Merritt were charged with using a fake ID and tampering with a government record to access Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, based in Houston. They identified as “Robert Sarkis” and “Susan Tennenbaum” of the fictitious company Biomax when accessing the facility. They faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the felony charges.
“The dismissal of the bogus, politically motivated charges against CMP project lead David Daleiden and investigator Sandra Merritt is a resounding vindication of the First Amendment rights of all citizen journalists, and also a clear warning to any of Planned Parenthood’s political cronies who would attack whistleblowers to protect Planned Parenthood from scrutiny,” Daleiden said this morning
The pair had also been charged with attempting to purchase human organs, a misdemeanor charge in Texas. Judge Diane Bull dismissed the charge in June. (RELATED: Judge Drops Misdemeanor Charge Against Planned Parenthood Video Creator)
Videos from the Houston compound were among the most sensational released by the Center for Medical Progress, which distributed the videos. Film from the location showed the dissection of fetal cadavers and Planned Parenthood representatives discussing disguising itemized budget lines to conceal compensation they received for the organs and tissue of aborted fetuses.
The conduct of the DA’s office during the course of the prosecution raised eyebrows among Daleiden supporters, after court documents indicated prosecutors colluded with Planned Parenthood lawyers on at least one occasion. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast attorney Josh Schaffer disclosed in an affidavit that Assistant District Attorney Sunni Mitchell released raw footage of the Center for Medical Progress videos to him, despite an order from the Texas Attorney General expressly forbidding such action.
Another prosecutor in the office, Lauren Reeder, sits on Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s board of directors. The position is not compensated and Reeder did not play any role in the case.
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