Grand jury clears Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing, indicts sting videographers

If you break the law to try and prove that someone else is breaking the law, you’re still breaking the law. Even (especially) if your target isn’t.

That’s basically what a grand jury in Houston just ruled after having been asked to investigate whether Planned Parenthood violated laws relating to the sale of human organs. From the New York Times:

Planned Parenthood, via Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

Planned Parenthood, via Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

In a statement, the Harris County district attorney, Devon Anderson, said Monday that the director of the Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden, had been indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs.

Another center employee, Sandra Merritt, was indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record.

The Center for Medical Progress had covertly shot videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted fetuses for research. Mr. Daleiden, 26, had posed as a biotechnology representative to infiltrate Planned Parenthood affiliates and surreptitiously record his attempts to procure tissue for research.

Ms. Anderson said in the statement that grand jurors had cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing. She did not specify in the statement what record or records were allegedly tampered with.

Bear in mind: This was Texas governor Greg Abbott’s investigation. He was the one who called for a grand jury to investigate whether Planned Parenthood broke the law. So at the end of the day, the indictments of Daleiden and Merritt fall on him, to some respect.

Nevertheless, I just absolutely. cannot. wait. to see conservatives lose their collective minds about the our liberal, immoral, corrupt legal system.

Also, for what it’s worth, this backfiring legal strategy is reminiscent of another case from last year, in which conservative operative James O’Keefe tried to prove that Hillary Clinton’s campaign was breaking campaign finance laws by very likely breaking campaign finance laws himself.

It’s almost like organizations aligned with Democratic and progressive politics behave as if they know they’re being watched.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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13 Responses to “Grand jury clears Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing, indicts sting videographers”

  1. DoverBill says:

    If you’re gonna go snake hunting, don’t be surprised if a couple of ’em bite you in the ass.


  2. nicho says:

    Oh, he had one. He’s just not using it anymore — or so they say.

  3. UncleBucky says:

    Good. Now let’s billboard the bad boys.

  4. Gerald Parks says:

    Yeah …that thing about NOT lying just seems to go over their head every time!

  5. Gerald Parks says:

    It is truly a shame isn’t it?

  6. BeccaM says:

    Seems the ‘tampering with a government record’ is related to the liars’ use of phony IDs, which purported to be official California-issued identification.

    In making the videos, Mr. Daleiden and others have been accused of setting up a fake company called Biomax Procurement Services, creating fake identities and claiming to be part of a legitimate provider of fetal tissue to researchers. The charge of tampering with a governmental record appeared to be related to Mr. Daleiden’s and Ms. Merritt’s use of fake ID cards.

    “We know that they used fake IDs that had their real photographs but fake names and fake addresses purported to be issued by the state of California,” said Josh Schaffer, a Houston lawyer who represents Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in the Harris County criminal investigation. Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt presented those IDs to security at the Planned Planned office to gain entry to the building. “They never denied that they presented a fake ID,” Mr. Schaffer said.

  7. Doug105 says:


  8. Palined Parenthood says:

    Yeah, what’s that passage about being as cunning as the snake or whatever it says? I’d like to present that to the next “Christian” who says “HURR DURR QURAN SAY’S U CAN LIE!!”

  9. hiker_sf says:

    According to the Bible, in Two Numskullians 51:50, it is OK for them to lie, cheat and even kill in God’s name.

  10. MaryOGrady says:

    I wish she could be in the adjoining cell. These clowns and she helped inspire that anti-abortion fanatic Dear to murder people at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

  11. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    They’ll tell you that they did it for Jesus. Of course, when he hears about these guys Jesus will roll over in his grave, if he had one.

  12. Palined Parenthood says:

    These bible thumpers seem to have trouble understanding that one little commandment thingy about not bearing false witness or whatever it was.

  13. Amwatching2c says:

    How do you spell jail time in Texas? And where is Carly when you need her?

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