Thomas More Society Seeks Legal Recourse in Slam Indictment Against Undercover Journalist
Today, Texas attorneys for undercover journalist David Daleiden filed a “motion to quash,” that is, to dismiss the pair of indictments that Houston county prosecutors secured last January from a Harris County, Texas, grand jury, charging Daleiden with crimes – both a felony and a misdemeanor – for his actions he took in Texas in connection with the Planned Parenthood baby parts trafficking exposé. Thomas More Society president and chief counsel, Tom Brejcha, together with special counsel Peter Breen, have also appeared in Daleiden’s criminal case in Houston, and will be joining Texas counsel in defense of Daleiden’s due process rights in the Harris County, Texas, 338th District Criminal Court.
These criminal charges against Daleiden in Houston dominated national headlines last January because the grand jury that returned the indictments against Daleiden and his associate, Sandra Merritt, had been convened at the urging of Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to investigate potential criminal wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood, and not the pro-life investigators. But the grand jurors “jumped the track.” Rather than indict America’s largest abortion provider for illegal acts (e.g., selling aborted baby parts for profit and altering abortion methods to yield more profitable “specimens” for tissue procurement firms, etc.) that most observers deemed “gruesome and barbaric,” the grand jury cast a blind eye at Planned Parenthood, reportedly “clearing” it of wrongdoing, while instead leveling criminal charges against Daleiden and Merritt.
The grand jury that was convened in September 2015 for the specific purpose of hearing the evidence against the abortion provider had taken no action by December, when its term lapsed. It was “held over” to conduct further proceedings into 2016, but without any specific guidance or directions.
On January 14, 2016, Daleiden had testified before this “held over” grand jury, with the presumption that they were, as directed, investigating and targeting Planned Parenthood. Eleven days later, following his testimony, the District Attorney’s office announced the return of the indictments against Daleiden via press release, and made these charges immediately available on the internet for public consumption.
According to the motion to quash, which was filed in Harris County criminal court this morning, this holdover transaction, compounded other irregularities relating to acquisition of evidence and improper disclosure of secret grand jury matters. These issues have compromised Daleiden’s legal rights and the motion calls for suppression of the grand jury’s charges.
“The irregularities in the case were manifold,” said Peter Breen. “The abuses occurring during and after the grand jury’s proceedings were in gross violation of Mr. Daleiden’s right to due process under the Texas Constitution as well as his statutory rights,” Breen explained. Breen added that in addition to the grand jury taking actions for which they did not have proper authority, prosecutors violated the law by systematically leaking information to unauthorized persons.