In August, pro-life activist David Daleiden told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson that during her time as California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris used her power to attack his First Amendment rights as an undercover journalist.
Daleiden alleges that Harris conspired with Planned Parenthood to suppress his rights after he released undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing the buying and selling of aborted fetal remains.
Daleiden is an undercover journalist, pro-life activist, and founder of the non-profit Center for Medical Progress. He and his coworker Sandra Merritt posed as a company in the procurement of fetal tissue in 2014 and arranged “business meetings” with Planned Parenthood executives to discuss the purchase of fetal tissue.
In the videos (which can be viewed in full on Youtube here and here), these executives casually discuss the buying and selling of aborted fetal body parts over dinner. They detail how abortion doctors amend procedures so as to deliver organs and other fetal body parts intact, and then discuss with Daleiden and Merritt the going prices for parts such as livers, hearts, and lungs.
According to federal law, the buying and selling of human body parts is illegal. Engaging in the traffick of aborted baby body parts is punishable by 10 years in jail and fines up to $500,000.
The Center for Medical Progress reported the findings of the videos to law enforcement, and then released the videos to the public in July 2015.
After a Congressional investigation, Congress made dozens of referrals for criminal and regulatory charges to local authorities against Planned Parenthood.
At the time, Kamala Harris was California’s Attorney General. She had received $15,000 in contributions from Planned Parenthood during her 2014 reelection campaign. Instead of opening an investigation into Planned Parenthood, Harris went after Daleiden. Harris sued Daleiden under a California eavesdropping law that had never been used against an undercover reporter. In addition, she met with 6 Planned Parenthood executives in early 2016 in what Daleiden alleges was a conspiracy to put an end to his investigations and to suppress his First Amendment rights.
Shortly thereafter, Daleiden posted to Facebook that California Department of Justice agents had raided his apartment and seized his computer and video equipment.
“Today, the California Attorney General’s office of Kamala Harris, who was elected with tens of thousands of dollars from taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood, seized all video footage showing Planned Parenthood’s criminal trade in aborted baby parts, in addition to my personal information,” Daleiden wrote.
When asked about the raid and seizure, Harris’s office replied, “We cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.”
“So she used the power of armed law enforcement to crush someone who criticized her donors,” Tucker Carlson concluded in August’s interview.
“Exactly,” Daleiden responded. “Everyone should be afraid,” he said of Harris, and “her radical disrespect and contempt for the First Amendment.”
In response to the videos, both Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation filed lawsuits against Daleiden. Planned Parenthood was awarded $2.2 million by a San Fransisco jury hearing the case last November.
Daleiden and the CMP filed a complaint this May against Planned Parenthood, Kamala Harris, and several others for violating their “free speech rights and Equal Protection rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”
The complaint calls the actions of former AG Harris and Planned Parenthood “a brazen, unprecedented, and ongoing conspiracy to selectively use California’s video recording laws as a political weapon to silence disfavored speech.”