Analysis

Prosecutor shared footage with Planned Parenthood during fetal body parts investigation

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Planned Parenthood attorney Josh Schafer in a newly released court affidavit has admitted that the Harris County District Attorney’s office provided him unedited video evidence recorded by the Center for Medical Progress. Schafer said, “The HCDAO produced to me what it asserted was the unedited video footage on December 18, 2015.”

Center for Medical Progress (CMP) attorney Peter Breen in a statement Tuesday said that:

“These filings also include evidence that appears to show that the DA’s office worked with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to undermine the Texas Attorney General’s independent investigation of that abortion provider. The conduct of Harris County prosecutors in this case is outrageous and illegal.”

The admission by Schaffer came in an affidavit in response to the motion to quash the indictments against CMP head, David Daleiden.

The Washington Times notes that “Schaffer said that Harris County Assistant District Attorney Sunni Mitchell figured out a way to bypass a state directive in order to deliver him raw video footage taken by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress.”

CMP points out that Schaffer said that the Harris County DA’s office would work to bypass a directive from the state’s AG office to not provide raw footage to Planned Parenthood. In Schaffer’s own words:

“I was told that the Attorney General’s Office agreed to give it to the HCDAO on the condition that the HCDAO not give it to PPGC. Mitchell told me that she would try to obtain the footage by other means.”

Prior to this revelation, the DA’s office was already under suspicion for a number of reasons, including:

The Thomas More Society, legal counsel for Daleiden, explains:

Under oath, Schaffer admitted that he and Assistant District Attorney Sunni Mitchell attempted to do an end-run around the Texas Attorney General’s directive to Mitchell to not share raw video footage with Planned Parenthood: “I was told that the Attorney General’s office agreed to give it to the Harris County District Attorney’s office on the condition that they not give it to Planned Parenthood. Mitchell told me that she would try to obtain the footage by other means.”

In 2013, Mitchell was responsible for a Grand Jury that refused to indict Houston’s late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen. This was despite photographs and eyewitness testimony that implicated Karpen in illegal late-term abortions and homicide of born-alive infants, similar to Philadelphia’s notoriously convicted Kermit Gosnell.

(More on Douglas Karen here.) This activity between Planned Parenthood’s attorney and the Harris County attorney was going on while the public was under the pretense that the abortion chain itself would be investigated by the grand jury.

The state’s response to the motion to quash includes a lengthy statement by Harris County District Attorney, Devon Anderson, and Assistant District Attorney, Melissa P. Hervey. Schaffer’s sworn statement begins on page 34.

In the original announcement of the motion to quash, CMP said:

Attorneys for David Daleiden today filed a motion to quash the indictment by the Harris County District Attorney citing a series of abuses that occurred during and after the grand jury’s proceedings that are in violation of Mr. Daleiden’s due process rights under the Texas Constitution.  Prosecutors systematically leaked Grand Jury information to unauthorized persons and the grand jury acted without proper authority.

Now Scahffer’s admission sparks real flames of law-breaking against the prosecutors in this case.

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