David Daleiden fined $195K amid court battle over censored Planned Parenthood footage
The undercover journalist who in 2015 exposed Planned Parenthood's baby body parts selling operation is fighting a nearly $200,000 fine amid an ongoing court battle.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hear an appeal from David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress last week, an appeal of a $195,000 imposed on him for using video footage which supposedly violated a gag order imposed by a lower court judge.
“The federal judge presiding over related civil lawsuits, District Judge William Orrick, had held that criminal defense counsel’s use of the videos violated a gag order he imposed in one of the federal civil actions. Daleiden and his defense counsel appealed, arguing that Orrick had improperly imposed a criminal contempt penalty without granting the accused due process and that the federal civil injunction should not apply to Daleiden’s state criminal proceeding,” according to a statement from the Thomas More Society, which is representing Daleiden.
Daleiden's attorneys have long argued that Orrick cannot be an impartial jurist — and previously sought to disqualify him — in this case because he helped found a Planned Parenthood clinic in San Francisco several years ago. Orrick's wife is an abortion activist.
Daleiden noted Wednesday that although he was cleared of similar charges in a separate court fight in Texas, Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation continue to pursue two federal lawsuits in California, which included the gag order forbidding him from publishing undercover video footage that he recorded of the abortion giant's top-level employees.
"These videos prove that the conversations were NOT 'confidential' and the recordings were made to gather evidence of violent criminality in the abortion industry," he asserted.
Daleiden also accused Planned Parenthood, the federal judge and then-Attorney General Kamala Harris, who's now a U.S. senator from California and candidate for president, of concocting a "bogus legal scheme" against him and conspiring to fine him $195,000.
Because the federal appellate court refused the appeal of the fine, the fine presently stands, for which he is now raising funds.
“It is a travesty that Mr. Daleiden’s accusers can use the video footage at the heart of these cases against him — both in court and in the court of public opinion — but Mr. Daleiden’s legal team cannot use the same footage in his defense, even in his own court filings, without fear of an entirely different tribunal imposing punitive fines,” said Sarah Pitlyk, Thomas More Society special counsel, in a statement to The Daily Wire last week.
“Holding Mr. Daleiden and his defense counsel in contempt under these circumstances flies in the face of the Sixth Amendment and fundamental principles of fairness. This is not how the criminal justice system is supposed to work.”
Last week, the Trump administration ended the federal government’s practice of using tissue from aborted babies for medical research.
In a June 7 Washington Examiner opinion piece, Daleiden noted that the NIH spent $115 million on fetal experimentation last year, highlighting the work of one such NIH research grantee Dr. Jörg C. Gerlach of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Gerlach has published on a technique to harvest fresh livers from intact babies delivered alive in late-term abortions “at a gestational age of 18 to 22 weeks.”
"Gerlach’s liver-harvesting 'protocol' is used for experimental stem cell transplants according to 'current Good Manufacturing Practice,' or cGMP, guidelines developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, another arm of HHS," Daleiden explained.
Since 2011, Gerlach’s fetal liver experiments at UPMC have reportedly received at least $2 million in federal grants.
"[H]is work’s exploitation of born-alive infants raises serious questions about whether HHS violated its own authorizing statutes in previous administrations. The same federal law that permits HHS to fund fetal tissue research forbids any involvement in live fetal experimentation except to save the life of the baby," Daleiden said.
In December of 2017, the federal government formally opened an investigation into Planned Parenthood; the Department of Justice wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee requesting copies of their reports detailing their findings about the transactions between the abortion group and biotech companies that procure fetal body parts.