Earlier this week, Judge William Orrick held David Daleiden, the Center for Medical Progress, and two of David’s criminal defense attorneys in civil contempt for violating a court order prohibiting the release of video footage related to NAF conferences and related meetings. The footage was posted to a private website in May.
Judge Orrick’s contempt order awards approximately $137,000 to the National Abortion Federation for attorney fees and for alleged staff time to scour the internet looking for links to the Daleiden videos.
Now, Daleiden and his legal team are appealing that fine. Here’s more:
The lawyers said they would appeal the ruling.
The Center for Medical Progress contended that the contempt charge against the attorneys was “just for trying to use the same video evidence in his defense that the California attorney general is using in his prosecution.” In a July 11 Facebook post, the center charged that the action would hinder efforts to provide a fair trial for Daleiden. The center also cited Daleiden’s attorneys’ ongoing efforts to disqualify the judge for alleged bias and links to Planned Parenthood.
Daleiden’s lawyers, former Los Angeles prosecutor Steve Cooley and Brentford Ferreira, posted the videos to their website in May of this year. The release included preview footage of convention attendees casually discussing the skulls, eyeballs and other baby body parts they encounter in abortion procedures.
The videos had been uploaded to a private YouTube account and were not viewable without a link. One of Daleiden’s attorneys argued that this meant the posting itself was not a violation of the court order. Judge Orrick disagreed, saying that the enjoined materials were shared with a third party, namely YouTube.
When the videos initially became public, a spokesperson for the attorneys told National Review that the footage was entered into the public record when Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra Read filed a public criminal proceeding based on it.
Orrick said Daleiden’s lawyers published undercover video footage of a National Abortion Federation meeting in violation of a court order.
“Criminal defense counsel … do not get to decide whether they can violate the preliminary injunction,” Orrick said Tuesday in court.
Daleiden’s criminal defense attorneys argued that the videos are essential to providing David with a robust public defense after California Attorney General Xavier Beccera charged Daleiden and Sandra Merritt with 15 felony counts of eavesdropping. The first set of charges were dismissed by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite in the criminal case for lack of specificity. Beccera recently amended and refiled the charges, this time including the file names of certain videos. However, the charges still do not name the individuals involved in the conversations during which Planned Parenthood doctors and other abortionists discuss the sale of fetal body parts for profit.
On a positive note, Judge Hite was receptive to arguments that the amended charges against Susan Merritt were not properly filed. An update will follow as soon as we know whether these charges will be dismissed.
“As always, the abortion cartel is furious that its trade in baby body parts and its willingness to violate laws that protect preborn babies from gruesome abortion procedures are being exposed,” said Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director Alexandra Snyder. “Since the first video release two years ago, they have been waging a vicious campaign to punish-and permanently silence-our client.”
The video footage in question was released in May. It shows top Planned Parenthood staffers attending meetings of the National Abortion Federation in 2014 and 2015 and discussing gruesome details about aborted babies. In one clip, several attendees made jokes about eyeballs from aborted babies “rolling down into their laps.”
Orrick forced the videos to be taken down.
Daleiden refused to say whether he published the video Tuesday in court, according to the report. Orrick, who has ties to the abortion industry, said he will hold attorneys Steve Cooley and Brentford Ferreira in contempt.
The Center for Medical Progress, Daleiden’s group, said his attorneys are being persecuted “just for trying to use the same video evidence in his defense that the California AG is using in his prosecution.”
In a statement, Daleiden’s group continued: “The [California] State prosecution is such a bad case, Planned Parenthood and NAF want Judge Orrick to intervene in the middle of this separate (and bogus) state criminal prosecution to put his thumb on the scales and forbid David from getting a fair trial.
In June, Daleiden’s lawyers asked that Orrick recuse himself from the case, arguing that he has links to the abortion industry. They said Orrick has had a long relationship with an group that partners with Planned Parenthood, and his wife publicly supported abortion online.
While Orrick was secretary of the board of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, the organization “embedded a Planned Parenthood clinic inside its premises, and lists among its ‘key partnerships’ … Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific …” according to the request.
The Planned Parenthood affiliate also is a member of the National Abortion Federation, the plaintiff in the case, according to the court document.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed charges against Daleiden and fellow investigator Sandra Merritt in March, alleging that they recorded private conversations without people’s consent in the state.
The Thomas More Society, which is representing Daleiden in the case, questioned who really is running the show:
“The pendency of simultaneous federal civil cases proceeding side-by-side with such a major state criminal prosecution of multiple felonies was bound to breed the most serious and grave complications, not to mention the miscarriage of justice. Must the pro-lifers’ criminal defense lawyers seek prior federal permission before summoning or cross-examining prosecution witnesses, or introducing videos or other documentary evidence into the trial record? Must the state court Judge, Hon. Christopher Hite, consult with the federal Judge, Hon. William Orrick, before ruling on objections to evidence?
“And who is actually directing the criminal case, Attorney General Becerra, or the federal civil plaintiffs, the National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, who lobbied him and his predecessor, then Attorney General Kamala Harris, to bring these excessive felony charges? We will carry on with efforts to see that justice is ultimately achieved in these troubling cases.”
The expose’ videos catching Planned Parenthood officials selling the body parts of aborted babies have shocked the nation. Here is a list of all 14:
- In the first video: Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
- In the second video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
- In the third video: Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
- In the fourth video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
- In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States.”
- In the sixth video: Holly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”
- In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video: Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘You want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
- In the eighth video: StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of” fully intact aborted babies.
- The ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
- The 10th video: catches the nation’s biggest abortion business selling specific body parts — including the heart, eyes and “gonads” of unborn babies. The video also shows the shocking ways in which Planned Parenthood officials admit that they are breaking federal law by selling aborted baby body parts for profit.
- Unreleased Videos: Unreleased videos from CMP show Deb Vanderhei of Planned Parenthood caught on tape talking about how Planned Parenthood abortion business affiliates may “want to increase revenue [from selling baby parts] but we can’t stop them…” Another video has a woman talking about the “financial incentives” of selling aborted baby body parts.
- The 11th video: catches a Texas Planned Parenthood abortionist planning to sell the intact heads of aborted babies for research. Amna Dermish is caught on tape describing an illegal partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term unborn babies which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.
- The 12th video in the series shows new footage of Jennefer Russo, medical director at Planned Parenthood in Orange County, California, describing to undercover investigators how her abortion business tries to harvest intact aborted babies’ bodies for a local for-profit biotech company and changes the abortion procedure to do so.
- The 13th video: exposes a Planned Parenthood medical director admitting that babies born alive after abortion are sometimes killed.
- The 14th video: catches Planned Parenthood executives discussing gruesome abortion procedures and the sale of body parts from aborted babies for profit.