In August of 2015, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick made a formal request that Planned Parenthood be investigated for potential criminal wrongdoing after the release of David Daleiden’s undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress. Following the Lt. Governor’s request, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office investigated Planned Parenthood’s Gulf Coast affiliate office.

On January 14, 2016,  our client David Daleiden appeared in person and testified before the Grand Jury that was presumably investigating Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. Following this testimony, on January 25, 2016, a grand jury in Harris County cleared Planned Parenthood’s Gulf Coast affiliate of wrongdoing exposed by the undercover work of pro-life journalist David Daleiden.

In addition to clearing Planned Parenthood, the grand jury decided to indict David Daleiden and his colleague, Sandra Merritt. The two undercover journalists were charged with using fake driver’s licenses and Daleiden was further charged with violating Texas’ prohibition on the purchase and sale of human organs. This is the same law that he accused Planned Parenthood of breaking in his expose. In a direct violation of the law the indictments were immediately made available to the public for download on the internet, well before our client had been brought in for the charges. Days after these charges were made public, Planned Parenthood held an invitation only press conference where counsel for Planned Parenthood, Mr. Josh Schaffer, stated that he “explicitly pushed prosecutors” to charge Mr. Daleiden and Mrs. Merritt.

Mr. Schaffer also stated he was kept informed of the Grand Jury’s happenings by someone in the prosecutor’s office. In addition to the collusion with counsel for Planned Parenthood, an attorney for the National Abortion Federation, Mr. Derek Foran, announced via the New York Times that he had received leaked information about the turnabout indictments of our client and his colleague 30 minutes before they were released to the public.

In the week of June 13, 2016 a Harris County judge, the Hon. Diane Bull, dismissed the misdemeanor charges filed against our client citing the indictment was defective. In this case the Harris County prosecutors did not properly obtain the Grand Jury’s approval of each of the elements of the charged misdemeanor. The order dismissed the case for want of jurisdiction.

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