Recent statements and court documents indicate that when Vice President Kamala Harris was Attorney General of California, her office colluded with prominent abortion providers as she pursued a criminal case against pro-life journalist David Daleiden, his attorneys argue.

As attorney general, Harris took the unprecedented step of charging Daleiden with violating a state eavesdropping law. Part of the investigation entailed seizing a variety of materials from Daleiden's apartment — including then-unreleased undercover video footage of Planned Parenthood. 

Daleiden's attorneys argue that one of Harris' appointees, Deputy Attorney General Johnette Jauron, effectively admitted in May 2021 that she abused the powers of her office by giving the National Abortion Federation (NAF) that footage and other materials seized during a raid in 2016 from Daleiden's apartment as part of Harris' criminal investigation. By that time, NAF was embroiled in a civil suit against Daleiden.

Superior Court of San Francisco County Judge Christopher Hite had asked Jauron about evidence in May of this year, while noting that Daleiden retained different rights in his criminal proceeding, ongoing since 2016, than he did in his civil trial with NAF, which began in July 2015. 

In response to the judge, the deputy AG said that she had "provided NAF with everything that I provided Defendant [Daleiden]." 

Daleiden's attorneys now argue that this statement implied Jauron gave NAF the footage along with the other materials taken in the 2016 apartment raid.

In August, Daleiden followed by asking San Francisco's superior court to compel the AG's office to provide correspondence with NAF, Planned Parenthood and others. The AG's office replied by accusing Daleiden of taking Jauron's words out of context.

"The exchange reflects that there were multiple issues being discussed by the multiple participants in the conversation, and while somewhat inartful and overbroad, neither of the identified sentences provide a factual basis upon which this court can find the existence of relevant evidence," the AG's response read. "There is none."

She later added: "I have not provided any materials seized pursuant to search warrant in this case to any unauthorized recipient."

But several of the billing records from NAF's civil attorneys raise questions about the abortion provider's cooperation with Harris’ office. 

Filed in August, the records show attorney Alexandra Laks billing $262.50 for "coordinate review of new videos." No further detail was provided, but that entry was marked for April 6, 2016 – the day after police raided Daleiden's apartment. Moreover, Daleiden's attorney contends that the timing of various releases indicated that "new videos" referred to material seized from his client's apartment.

"No discovery was provided by Mr. Daleiden’s attorneys in civil cases filed by PP and NAF at that time," said attorney Brent Ferreira in a statement to Fox News. "The reference to new videos can only relate to the videos seized pursuant to the search warrant."

He added that "this case is the most egregious abuse of prosecutorial power that I have ever seen and I was a trial and appellate lawyer in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for [30] years."

Evidence raises further questions about Harris' cooperation with abortion providers 

Harris' prosecution has prompted questions about the influence of Planned Parenthood, which was both a target of Daleiden's investigation and powerhouse in fundraising for California Democrats. 

Various PP entities and other abortion-related groups, for example, reportedly gave Harris a combined $81,000 for her campaigns to become California’s attorney general and later, U.S. senator. Harris and her predecessors – including Xavier Becerra, who also serves in the Biden administration – have declined to prosecute PP, despite the content of Daleiden's videos and other evidence surrounding PP's fetal tissue practices. 

By contrast, Daleiden's home was raided just weeks after Harris’ March 23, 2016 meeting with Planned Parenthood executives, which was revealed in discovery for Daleiden’s criminal case. Billing records show that on the day of that meeting, NAF attorney Derek Foran and the AG’s office had a conference call in which they discussed "legal research regarding" a redacted subject.

Four days later, Foran charged $350 for "Review legal research notes regarding defenses to use of fake drivers license under California law and phone call regarding same." The unsealed search warrant for Daleiden’s apartment cites California Vehicle Code 4463 (a)(1) and California Penal Code 470(a) -- both state laws pertaining to identity fraud. 

Meanwhile, NAF's civil suit was filed in federal court and referenced a federal law regarding fake identification as part of its Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) claims.

Both the billing records and one of the state DOJ’s investigation also point to some form of cooperation. A May 31, 2017 record shows Foran noting "phone calls with superior court and California AG's office regarding status of flash drive of NAF materials lodged in criminal case." 

The state DOJ’s first investigation report states that Planed Parenthood Affiliates of California General Counsel Beth Parker sought out the computers used to create videos taken at PP conferences. 

It reads: "Parker stated that Planned Parenthood would like the computers used to produce the videos seized and added that there was a federal injunction in place to stop the release additional videos." 

NAF and Planned Parenthood did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Last week, NAF announced that its CEO Katherine Ragsdale had left the organization, although it's unclear why.

For Daleiden, NAF’s records paint a dark history of corruption six years after his videos captivated the world’s attention. "Planned Parenthood, NAF, and the California Attorney General beginning with Kamala Harris colluded to silence my reporting on illegal fetus trafficking and to obstruct justice in ongoing investigations of their practices," Daleiden told Fox News.

He continued: "After the new evidence in NAF and Planned Parenthood attorney billing records of illegal collusion with the Attorney General's office, and the on-the-record admissions from the prosecutor, the Superior Court has now ordered the Attorney General to produce further testimony about the extent of the office's coordination with Big Abortion special interests in manufacturing the bogus and unconstitutional charges against me and my colleagues. No matter how hard Planned Parenthood, Kamala Harris, and their associates have tried, the truth can no longer be buried."

Vice President Harris’ office did not respond to Fox News' repeated requests for comment.

Daleiden currently faces multiple charges in the case initially brought by Harris. Five of those charges were dropped by a judge who ruled that "there is an absence of probable cause to establish that these conversations were 'confidential communications' as defined by the statute." Last year, Daleiden brought a still-pending lawsuit alleging Harris conspired to violate his First Amendment rights.

Critics have attempted to discredit Daleiden, pointing to a variety of apparent losses in his battle with abortion providers. For example, a jury awarded Planned Parenthood more than $2 million in its civil lawsuit against him.

Notably, the civil suit did not charge Daleiden with defamation. That same case also featured PP officials’ testimony that appeared to complicate the organization’s claims that Daleiden obscured the truth about their abortion practices. 

The abortion provider has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, pointing to a series of state-level investigations and citing an audit claiming that Daleiden heavily edited his videos. 

In 2019, an appeals court contradicted Planned Parenthood's narrative, arguing the videos were "not deceptively edited."

No comments:

Post a Comment