Supporters Say Raid of Irvine Anti-Abortion Activist's Home was Political

David Daleiden's lawyers have been busy in Texas.EXPAND
David Daleiden's lawyers have been busy in Texas.
Center for Medical Progress

UPDATE, APRIL 14, 5:34 P.M.: Attorneys in Texas for David Daleiden filed a motion today to dismiss the pair of indictments that Houston county prosecutors secured last January from a Harris County grand jury charging the Irvine anti-abortion crusader with felony and a misdemeanor crimes. Thomas More Society president and chief counsel Tom Brejcha and special counsel Peter Breen claim the grand jury was convened in September 2015 for the specific purpose of hearing the evidence against Planned Parenthood but took no action by the time its term ended in December. But the jury was "held over" to conduct further proceedings into 2016 "without any specific guidance or directions," according to Daleiden's lawyers. As the Weekly previously reported, Daleiden testified against Planned Parenthood and then the Harris County district attorney announced via a press release the indictment against Daleiden, not Planned Parenthood. His lawyers' motion to quash cited the holdover transaction and "other irregularities relating to acquisition of evidence and improper disclosure of secret grand jury matters." They claim Daleiden’s legal rights have been comprised and call for suppression of the grand jury’s charges. “The irregularities in the case were manifold,” Breen says in an email. “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 added that prosecutors violated the law "by systematically leaking information to unauthorized persons."

ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 7, 6:07 A.M.: Supporters of Planned Parenthood applaud the state government raid of David Daleiden's apartment Tuesday as furthering the quest for justice, but supporters of the anti-abortion activist counter the show of force was politically motivated.

As the Weekly has frequently reported, Daleiden uses a commercial postal box in Irvine as the address for his Center for Medical Progress, which has released a string of undercover videos that make it appear Planned Parenthood officials are illegally profiting off the sale of aborted fetuses.

The videos have been seized upon by mostly Republican politicians to push for the defunding of Planned Parenthood or propel their campaigns. Take Carly Fiorina's presidential campaign before she, ahem, aborted it.

However, to shoot those videos with hidden cameras, Daleiden and others from CMP presented false identifications and gave phony names and job titles and, according to Planned Parenthood, doctored the footage or showed portions out of context.

Daleiden's methods, which CMP claims are protected because he is an undercover journalist, nonetheless led to his indictment in Texas and, as reported by Mother Jones political blogger and 2014 Weekly People issue subject Kevin Drum, the new investigation in California.

Here Drum bangs away at the California Department of Justice raid: “Authorities seized a laptop and multiple hard drives from his Orange County apartment, Daleiden said in an email. The equipment contained all of the video Daleiden had filmed as part of his 30-month project, 'including some very damning footage that has yet to be released to the public,' he said.”

Considering Planned Parenthood has been absolved of wrongdoing in several investigations, Drum suggests, “Daleiden can probably do better as a martyr for the cause than he can as a straightforward activist. After all, his activism produced squat—except for lots of death threats against abortion providers. But maybe that was the whole plan.”

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The whole plan in the raid of Daleiden was political, according to his supporters who point to a page on California Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris' website that directs visitors to add their names to a petition to defend Planned Parenthood, especially from congressional defunding.

“The same California AG behind the raid of David Daleiden's home ...,” notes Thomas Ciesielka, whose Chicago public relations firm represents CMP.

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