Ten months ago, David Daleiden and his investigative journalism group, The Center for Medical Progress, released the first fruits of their inaugural study, Human Capital. Like many Americans, I didn’t immediately watch the first ten-minute video with Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Dr. Deborah Nucatola. As the president ofa non-profit law firm, I am very busy, and as a man of both faith and reason, I knew where I stood on abortion. But then the second video came out, and then a third, and I began to realize that Human Capital was important. I was at first unsure—how could Planned Parenthood be so bold as to actually sell baby body parts? That’s blatantly illegal. Some have gone so far as to say the idea is too bold, too impossible, and have even gone so far as to accuse David Daleiden of making it all up, and shooting stagedreenactments. But the answer is even simpler than that—Planned Parenthood wanted the money and believed their political connections would immunize them from criminal liability.
That political favoritism raised its ugly head last week, when Democratic Senate candidate Kamala Harris abused her position as the California Attorney General to have agents raid David Daleiden’s home and seize all of the Human Capital project’s raw footage. Kamala Harris obtained a warrant based on the allegation that David Daleiden used fake I.D.s and recorded individuals illegally when working on Human Capital. But it’s clear that David Daleiden’s true “crime” is that Human Capital threatened Planned Parenthood and Kamala Harris’s Senate run.
From the outset, it has been clear that the greatest criminal harvesting and selling of baby body parts has been occurring in California. Although we don’t yet know how much money Planned Parenthood’s California affiliates are actually making from selling baby body parts, The Center for Medical Progress has estimated based on the accounting documents that it has been able to obtain from two clinics that they were respectively making $264,000 and $300,000 a year. Moreover, California has at least five fetal tissue procurement companies, which come into the Planned Parenthood clinics and harvest the baby body parts. The largest one, StemExpress, LLC, has somehow been able to grow and take over contracts from the other companies. How StemExpress has been able to do that—without simply offering more money because that would be obviously illegal—is a question I’ve been pondering ever since StemExpress first sued The Center for Medical Progress and David Daleiden. So why has the law simply not been applied to Planned Parenthood or StemExpress?
That’s where Kamala Harris comes in. As the California Attorney General, Kamala Harris is the chief law enforcement officer for California. As a Democratic candidate for Senate in California, she is beholden to Planned Parenthood for thousands of dollars of campaign contributions. When Human Capital was first released, Kamala Harris said she would investigate The Center for Medical Progress, but then almost nothing happened. I think it’s fair to assume that she dragged her feet because her pet project, banning the sale of foie gras in California, is also the result of undercover journalists from Mercy for Animals investigating and surreptitiously recording individuals in the duck liver industry.
But then her campaign for Senate was threatened. First, on March 25, the Los AngelesTimes lambasted Kamala Harris for not harassing The Center for Medical Progress with a criminal investigation. Then, a week later on March 30, the Los Angeles Times came back with a second article, focusing on disproven arguments criticizing Human Capital’s journalistic integrity, and specifically focusing on the Houston indictment of David Daleiden. (Hey Kamala Harris, you can repeat that here!) This apparently broke the camel’s back, because on March 31, The Center for Medical Progress received a second letter from Kamala Harris, asking for more documents. Then, on April 5, instead of waiting for David Daleiden to compile the requested documents, Kamala Harris had eleven agents raid his house, and seize pretty much everything related to Human Capital.
The obvious question is whether the raid was actually justified. There’s no question that it wasn’t. A search warrant is based on a simple, unilateral showing of “probable cause” that the search will yield evidence of criminal activity. “Probable cause” is the lowest of evidentiary standards, which, loosely translated, means evidence of illegal activity will probably be found on the premises. Millions of Californians use fake I.D.s—probably millions of underage kids—and I’m pretty sure that they or their parents would be fairly upset if Kamala Harris started ordering raids trying to catch those kids who are buying beer. And second, if surreptitious recording justified a home raid, then why hasn’t Kamala Harris ordered the raid of Mercy for Animals? Right on their website, they have an undercover video of a man engaging in animal cruelty. On its face, it appears to be pretty much the same kind of thing that David Daleiden did.
Then there are the legal considerations. When a civil lawsuit is already in progress between two disputing parties, it is exceedingly rare for a prosecutor to pile on with a criminal prosecution against one of them. Professional prosecutors are not interested in wasting limited public resources on a matter already being handled in a civil law suit. It is also usually considered irresponsible and foolish to bring parallel criminal and civil proceedings. The difficulties involved in juggling those parallel proceedings is a headache that no competent lawyer would engage unless they had to do so. For example, the civil cases are already harmed by Kamala Harris’s move: she knowingly seized attorney-client communications between David Daleiden and us, his attorneys in the civil cases. And because these seized documents are privileged, she can’t review them in the criminal case.
My public interest law firm is representing The Center for Medical Progress in all three of the civil cases against it, by StemExpress, the National Abortion Federation, and Planned Parenthood. And Kamala Harris’s raid resulted in the seizure of privileged information from all three of those cases—which will be a huge headache for everyone. So I would caution Kamala Harris. The immunity which politics has traditionally given to individuals in the abortion industry is not as foolproof as it once was. Kermit Gosnellalmost got away with murder because Pennsylvania refused to investigate him—that didn’t go over well with Pennsylvanians, and it wouldn’t have gone over well with Californians. And if she’s relying on Planned Parenthood to fund her Senate campaign, she better get some more money while the going’s good—because, if the people have their way, Planned Parenthood is going to find itself half-a-billion dollars short of federal funding in 2016.