Judge Declines to Dismiss Charges Against Pro-Life Investigators Who Recorded Undercover Planned Parenthood Videos

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — A superior court judge in California has declined to dismiss charges against two pro-life investigators who recorded their undercover conversations with Planned Parenthood representatives and released them to the general public to expose the company’s abortion practices.

As previously reported, in June, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite initially agreed to dismiss the 14 felony counts of recording confidential conversations against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, stating that they lacked specificity. However, he also gave California Attorney General Xavier Becerra permission to amend his complaint, and to enumerate exactly which videos are at issue.

On June 30, Becerra refiled the charges, and Daleiden and Merritt requested that they be dismissed. On Thursday, Hite denied the motion. However, he will allow the pro-lifers to present affirmative defenses during an upcoming probable cause hearing. The two are also facing one count of conspiracy to invade privacy.

Daleiden entered a not guilty plea following the decision, while Merritt postponed a plea at this time. Her arraignment is scheduled for October.

“An absolute defense to that law is that you can record anything you want in a public place, and all of these recordings were made in extremely public places: the St Francis Hotel, restaurants, hallways, meetings rooms of the hotel,” Daleiden’s defense attorney, former Los Angeles District Attorney Brent Ferreira, said at a press conference following the hearing. “There’s no case here.”

“Our former attorney general, now Senator Kamala Harris, and current Attorney General Xavier Becerra have and are advancing an ill-motivated, improperly-motivated, politically-motivated criminal prosecution against someone who was doing nothing but expose crime as he is entitled to do in this country as long as the First Amendment prevails,” also said co-defense attorney Steve Cooley.

“We will prevail. It will take time,” Ferreira declared. “We have an innocent client and we will prevail.”

  • Connect with Christian News

View the press conference in full here.

As previously reported, State Attorney General Becerra filed the charges against Daleiden and Merritt in March in asserting that they had wrongfully recorded the Planned Parenthood representatives without their consent.

“The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California’s Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society,” Becerra said, according to the LA Times. “[We] will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations.”

But the Center for Medical Progress believes that the charges are politically motivated and violative of the pro-lifers’ First Amendment rights—that is, their freedom to conduct investigative journalism.

“What Sandra and I both did is no different from what local news sources and local news outlets do every single day here in the state of California when they go undercover and publish undercover hidden camera news stories,” Daleiden said during Thursday’s press conference.

“The only difference is that we went after and we recorded and we exposed the sacred cows of the California political establishment: Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation and their allies and proxies in the abortion industry—the political backers of the organs of power in the state of California,” he stated.

He said that he finds it interesting that his court hearings are often attended by members of Planned Parenthood.

“Ultimately, this isn’t about me, this isn’t about Sandra, this isn’t about the undercover investigators. This is about the videos, … half of which still have never seen the light of day, and yet the attorney general purports to use them to prosecute me and Sandra even though the public can’t see the evidence and can’t see the videos,” he said.

“But Planned Parenthood knows they are one vote away in the U.S. Senate from losing half a billion a year in taxpayer subsidies a year and from seeing their abortion empire crumble. … They are one awful sting video away from that vote happening.”

As previously reported, Planned Parenthood had claimed following the release of Daleiden’s videos, which were first posted online in 2015, that the footage had been deceptively edited, but Daleiden had also publicly released the hours-long recordings in their entirety in addition to his concise video highlights. All the videos may be viewed in their entirety on the Center for Medical Progress YouTube page.


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, because of your generous support, we have received enough funds to send many audio Bibles to Iraqi and Syrian refugees displaced by ISIS in the Middle East. Many have been distributed and received with gladness. While we provide for the physical needs of the people, we seek to provide the eternal hope only found in Jesus Christ through the word of God. Would you join us by making a donation today to this important work? Please click here to send an audio Bible to a refugee family >>

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • It’s kind of ironic to be recognized as a Judge while the nature of Justice and morality are nowhere to be found.

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    lying to criminals is not a crime ….. COPS do it every day …………..

    • MCrow

      Lying is not technically a crime, but last I checked, it is a sin. There are laws in some states that require two party consent before recording, unless there is reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed.

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        and there was reasonable suspicion ………

        • MCrow

          Of what crime?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            of those things they recorded and released … they were all crimes ………

          • MCrow

            Not according to the laws of the United States of America

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            so what … according to Gods law it is ………..

          • MCrow

            The United States is not a theocracy, so it not bound by the laws of your religion

          • mr goody two shoes

            Well some of us are wanting and working to change that by who we vote for. Because democracy sucks latly

          • MCrow

            You would prefer a different system? One where you have no say?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            again … so what …. it is still a violation of His law ………..

          • MCrow

            And it is not the responsibility of the United States government to enforce such laws when Christians fail to evangelize.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            yeah ……..

          • Dealerdeb1

            WRONG> They admitted to marketing baby parts to the highest bidder. THAT is not allowed they can only charge for their actual cost . Sick as I get whenever I think of these cretins and what they do for a job.

          • MCrow

            Correction: they admitted to donating fetal tissue at the request of the patient, no different from organ donation. There was a criminal investigation, and it was found that they did not sell fetal tissue. At all.

          • Dealerdeb1

            These women who are mostly illiterate didn’t “REQUEST” donating fetal tissue LOL How dumb are you? They just sign the papers where it states that. A bunch of left wing bullshit you expect educated people to buy.IF asked 99% of these women had ZERO idea what fetal tissue was mcuh less what they were donating.They are exploited daily by PP. talk about racism? This is the worst form of it.

          • MCrow

            “These wome who are mostly illiterate” Citation please. Illiteracy in the US is very uncommon.

            “How dumb are you?” Ad hominem, and not even a good one.

            “They just sign the paper…” I’ll stop you here. If you sign a legal document in the United States, you are legally bound by it. Doesn’t matter if you didn’t read it. As for literacy, if someone asks, you can have someone talk you through it and explain what each means.

            “99%” Again, citation please. That’s an extremely high number.

            “Racism.” I have guesses what you mean by this, but nowhere has race been brought up previously, and so this is not a valid point.

            I’m also fairly certain there is a rule against use of certain words on this forum.

            And to conclude, 14 separate investigations were done into this issue. They all turned up nothing. There was nothing illegal happening. And PP continues to provide healthcare for people that are abandoned by conservative economic ideology

      • Cady555

        The deceptive editing constitutes bearing false witness – which is one of the big ten.

        On the other hand, there is not one clear and unequivocal statement anywhere in the bible about abortion. Not one.

        God is clear on shellfish and praying in public:

        Lev 11
        9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
        10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
        11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
        12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

        Matt 6
        5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
        6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

        Show me just one verse equally clear on abortion.

        • Dealerdeb1

          Thous Shalt Not Kill

      • Dealerdeb1

        Dismembering babies and selling their parts is NOT A crime? Of course it is when they do it the way PP for profit has done

    • RWH

      If a so-called criminal can successfully argue for deceit, s/he will go free. Look what happened with OJ Simpson when his lawyers were able to prove that Glenn Furman used deceitful tactics. In my area of the state, a cop’s dishonest testimony caused a number of retrials where he was a key witness.

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        Not talking about testimony in court ….. Cops can lie during interrogation….

        • RWH

          Amos. Heaven help a cop who lies during an interrogation. They get caught in a lie; they lose their job.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            well i agree with you to a certain point ………..

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731 (1969), was a United States Supreme Court case that affirmed the legality of deceptive interrogation tactics.

        • RWH

          I don’t think that you understood the case. Lawyers will have a heyday with cops that they consider crooked. The court case does not give law enforcement license to take the stance that anything goes. That is why a good lawyer will take cops like that apart. Consider all of the guilty parties that go free because law enforcement was careless or that lawyers showed that the police were deceitful. The Rodney King case is a prime example as was the OJ Simpson case. Police get out of line, and people go free.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            oh i understand the case …. and surprise …. i do not necessarily agree with it and am probably closer to your position …. cops should not lie …. and there are other methods they should use …. but it does point out how the SCOTUS has ruled ……..

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        BTW … i believe it was Mark Fuhrman … just sayin’ ………….

        • ekim

          Even a broken clock is right twice a day ! just sayin’ ……

  • The real crime here is the holocaust against babies that has caused 60 MILLION of them to be murdered by abortion since 1973.

    • Cady555

      If 2 people never meet, the potential people they might have conceived do not exist.

      If two people copulate without conceiving a child, the potential people they might have conceived do not exist.

      If a woman gets pregnant, about 6 million sperm failed to get there first. 6 million potential people do not exist.

      If a woman miscarries before she even knows she is pregnant, a potential person does not exist.

      If a woman miscarries a known pregnancy or has an abortion, a potential person does not exist.

      Each of these cases is morally equal – there is no person.

      On the other hand, there are millions of actual people here and breathing who need food, shelter, medical care, education and safety from peril. They include children and adults; immigrants, refugees and citizens; and people of every skin tone and religion. Once christians care about actual people, have compassion on them and meet their actual needs, then we move on to potential people. Until then, you are naught but a clanging cymbal.

      • Your word salad dissertation is nonsensical to the subject at hand.

        The FACT remains that abortion is the premeditated MURDER of a baby.

      • Dealerdeb1

        A miscarraige is NOT an intentional act to kill sorry. You libs always try and find some justification for that which is never acceptable.

      • Dealerdeb1

        A pregnancy ending because of a medical is NOT the same thing as willfully killing a baby. You libs keep telling yourself that.God knows what is in their hearts, We know a baby was killed. THEY EXIST and are a life

        • Cady555

          They are the same. No person has been born.

          • Dealerdeb1

            Keep telling yourself that, to save your soul it won’t work. they should make you stpid godless assholes watch one. THEN tell me you are killing a human being

          • Cady555

            When “pro life” christians demand universal health insurance; when “pro life” christians demand quality education for every American regardless of race or zipcode; when “pro life” christians obey biblical commands to welcome the immigrant; and when “pro life” christians support programs like access to long term birth control that are proven to reduce abortion, then I will listen to what they say about abortion. Until then, I will see them as the liars they are who care only about controlling women’s sex lives and who care nothing about human life. By their fruit shall ye know them.

  • michael louwe

    This is just the liberals of the Blue States trying to use the Law to censor/silence/hide their future evil deeds or bad PR that may become whistle-blown or leaked.

    Because the liberal Blue State governments are prohibited by the US Constitution to censor Free Speech and the peaceful assembly of protesters, the liberals have resorted to using liberal Antifa attackers/terrorists as proxies to shutdown peaceful non-liberal protest rallies, and using their liberal tech companies in Blue States as proxies to
    censor/shutdown/silence non-liberal websites and apps, eg Cloudfare, Go
    Daddy and Google shutting down Dailystormer and Gab.

    What the liberals of the Blue States have been doing is not very different from the Iran government sending Iranian terrorists as civilian proxies to attack Jewish organizations and synagogues in other countries or ISIS/Muslim mosques radicalising their civilian members to become Muslim terrorists or proxies who proceed to carry out attacks in the West.

  • mr goody two shoes

    Sounds like we need a Presidential pardon since we may have another goofy judge on the loose.

  • Robinske2

    A liberal judge is going to do everything possible to make sure the sacred right of abortion is never infringed on. Abortion to left is like communion to the church- it’s one of their holy rights in the new religion and expecting justice from Democrat/leftist judges is about as likely as a black person in the old south getting a fair trial from a KKK judge. They ought to simply make an appeal that President pardon them.

  • Jack-b-Quicker

    Well in the future, release them on youtube and we will help them spread. They can sue youtube if they like. Then we move to liveleak and they can have fun trying to sue them.

  • Dealerdeb1

    What do you expect in the loony San Fran courts? THEY LOVE Abortions and left wing crapploa. They should appeal the 9th is the farthest left of reality and almost ALWAYS overturned