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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