Planned Parenthood Cleared, Video Producer Indicted
Planned Parenthood Cleared, Video Producer Indicted
In an absolutely stunning turn of events today, a Houston grand jury has cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing. The same Houston grand jury has indicted David Daleiden, founder of The Center for Medical Progress, on felony charge of tampering with a government record and a misdemeanor charges related to the purchase of human organs. Another activist, Sandra Merritt, is facing a felony charge of tampering with a government record, according to WRAL.com.
Here is just one of the videos produced by The Center for Medical Progress, with an opening statement from Planned Parenthood Federation of America President, Cecile Richards:
In a statement announcing the indictment, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson didn’t provide details on the charges, including what record or records were allegedly tampered with and why Daleiden faces a charge related to buying human organs. Anderson’s office said it could not provide details until the documents charging Daleiden and Merritt were formally made public, which was expected later Monday.
“We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast,” Anderson’s statement said. “As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us.”
Now, if Planned Parenthood was cleared of selling human organs, then how could Mr. Daleiden, of The Center for Medical Progress, be indicted for the attempted purchase of human organs? I only had to take nine hours of law as a business major but… I thought there had to be offer and acceptance in contract law. Let’s see…
From the 4LawSchool website:
Offer and acceptance analysis is a traditional approach in contract law used to determine whether an agreement exists between two parties. An offer is an indication by one person to another of their willingness to contract on certain terms without further negotiations. A contract is then formed if there is express or implied agreement. A contract is said to come into existence when acceptance of an offer has been communicated to the offeror by the offeree.
The offer and acceptance formula, developed in the 19th century, identifies a moment of formation when the parties are of one mind. This classical approach to contract formation has been weakened by developments in the law of estoppel, misleading conduct, misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.
So, if Planned Parenthood representatives didn’t make an offer to sell organs, then Mr. Daleiden could not have accepted.
Maybe something else is going on?
The Federalist is reporting that Lauren Reeder, one of the prosecutors, is affiliated with the very Planned Parenthood affiliate that was being investigated.
Lauren Reeder, one of the prosecutors in the Harris County district attorney’s office, revealed last August that she was a member of the board of directors for the Planned Parenthood affiliate that was targeted by Daleiden.
Reeder’s LinkedIn page indicates that she has been a Planned Parenthood board member since 2013 and a fundraiser for the abortion provider since 2009
Is that what’s called putting a thumb on the Scales of Justice?
Meanwhile, Cecile Richards and her supporters are happily tweeting.
Don’t pop any champagne corks or buy any Lamborghinis yet, Planned Parenthood peeps. Here is a late statement from Texas Goveror Greg Abbott, as reported by The Blaze:
The Health and Human Service Commission’s Inspector General and the Attorney General’s office have an ongoing investigation into Planned Parenthood’s actions,” Abbott said in a statement. “Nothing about today’s announcement in Harris County impacts the state’s ongoing investigation. The State of Texas will continue to protect life, and I will continue to support legislation prohibiting the sale or transfer of fetal tissue.
No, I would not be picking out the color of my Lamborghini just yet.
Great insights and article, Toni. Jeez Louise. Conflict of interest? What!? It ain’t over till it’s over. But it is disgusting the entire way.
Meanwhile, here in the news in Tampa…outrage. A family’s Yorkie was abducted.
You are right. The truth will out. But, I would be outraged about the Yorkie, too.
Hillary “tampers with government records” and runs for POTUS. We are truly living in a world where evil is good, and good is evil.
I don’t believe PP has been cleared. The Texas AG has made no such statement, and Snyder clearly states that the investigation into PP’s actions is ongoing. It is also noteworthy that there were no indictments of CMP staff related directly to the videos and how they were acquired. That suggests that the vidoes could have evidentiary value In a future indictment of PP.
The charges against the CMP staff are quite simple and it would not be difficult for a Grand Jury to indict based on being presented 2 or 3 documents. There is nothing in the law that says ALL indictments related to the CMP / PP expose need to occur in the same grand jury session, and even as a practical matter that wouldn’t be necessary since the POI’s are not a flight risk (as contrasted with, say, a complex investigation of a drug trafficking case.)
The TX AG will likely bring this to their Federal counterparts at some point, since any sale of organs would undoubtedly have touched interstate commerce. Additionally there could be mail fraud charges (if illegal sales ever touched the postal service), conspiracy charges, etc. The PP side of this investigation is complex and will require analysis of elements such as whether the price of the tissue samples exceeded PP’s cost to acquire and transport them, whether any procedures were modified to obtain certain organs preferentially, whether women were pressured to consent to abortion in connection with organ harvesting, etc. This could take some time.
Planned Parenthood was evidently cleared of the charge of trafficking in human organs because they consistently said they were not selling body parts, but only charging for what is called, in other contexts, “shipping and handling.”
Expenses, that is, calculated no doubt using Hollywood-style movie-profits accounting.
While the activists, on the other hand, had made a blatant offer of a legal agreement to buy body parts.
The offer itself is illegal.
Planned Parenthood never agreed to that, but invariably insisted, like their lawyers told them, on saying they could only charge for expenses, and they could not sell them.
Any offer to traffic in baby parts that acknowledges a law is being broken, rather than a loophole used, is itself illegal. The activists went to considerable pains to make it appear their offer was genuine, and kept on repeating that they were buying baby parts even when Planned Parenthood people repeatedly characterized it another way. So, the grand jury decided, the activists were guilty, but Planned Parenthood was not guilty.
Moral? Before doing anything that resembles a sting operation,
consult a good lawyer, especially if your target has good lawyers. Be especially wary if they also have lobbyists and have political influence. They can get you indicted.
And, by the way, only law enforcement officials can make offers to commit crimes, and even commit overt acts, without penalty.
This whole indictment is designed to make a repeat of this sting operation impossible.
Also, by the way, the purchase and sale of human organs is a minor charge. Nothing like faking a driver’s license. That carries with it a possible 20-year sentence in Texas, probably because it could facilitate illegal voting or illegal immigration.
The “tampering with a government record” which carries with it a possible 20-year sentence, was creating a fake ID and maybe some other fake things, which I am not sure of, but it sounds like it has something to do with creating a fake corporation.