Grand jury investigating Planned Parenthood videos indicts video-makers instead

Planned_Parenthood_(3298748510)After spending two months investigating and reviewing undercover footage of Planned Parenthood taken by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, a Texas grand jury announced criminal charges against two anti-abortion activists, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, for their roles in creating now-viral videos attacking the abortion giant, The Hill reported Monday.

The grand jury also said it found no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.

Daleiden, The Hill added, “was indicted for ‘prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs.’ He and Merritt were both indicted for ‘tampering with a governmental record.’”

But, Liberty Unyielding’s J.E. Dyer noted, grand juries do not come up with charges — that’s the job of the district attorney:

The stories about this are all written as if the Harris County grand jury came up with the charges.  But grand juries don’t do that.  Prosecutors come up with charges, and then present them to grand juries for the indictment decision.

So the next question is obviously: why are the news stories ignoring what had to be the role of the Harris County District Attorney’s office in framing charges against the CMP investigators, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt?

Backing up for just a moment, the breaking story is, as indicated in the headline, that the grand jury convened to investigate Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) “brought charges” today against Daleiden and Merritt.  Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) requested a criminal investigation into PPGC back in August 2015, after the CMP video series was released showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale and harvesting of body parts from aborted babies.  The Harris County DA, Devon Anderson (also an R), agreed to undertake an investigation in the Houston area, and had the grand jury convened to consider charges.

Dyer further explained that the alleged “tampering” is “apparently related to making fake IDs for the undercover video work.”

“We feel vindicated,” said Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast spokeswoman Rochelle Tafolla.

Pro-lifers on Twitter were shocked.

Apparently so.  Especially if the target is a liberal “untouchable.”


Welcome to Obama’s fundamentally-transformed America.

This is far from settled, as Dyer indicated questions may arise as to the county’s standing regarding the tampering charge.  And, she added, “There’s also a policy question: why it would be a prosecutorial priority.”

Why, indeed.

You can check out our coverage of Planned Parenthood here and here.


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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