Sandra Merritt is asking the California Court of Appeals to dismiss all eight remaining felony charges pending against her. The bogus criminal investigation and heavy-handed tactics began under then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris (now Senator and VP Candidate) and then her replacement, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who filed 15 charges for Merritt’s undercover journalism work in exposing Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in baby body parts. During a press conference, Becerra stood with a sign reading, “I Stand with Planned Parenthood.”
Multiple counts have already been dismissed.
Becerra has not shown, and cannot show, probable cause for any of the politically motivated charges. Merritt’s appeal details with evidence that she did not intend to violate any laws but used legal undercover techniques to investigate and expose potential fetal-trafficking abuses and crimes being committed by Planned Parenthood. Liberty Counsel filed a 71-page brief along with a 2,600-page appendix.
Merritt’s appeal also points out the roughshod “investigation” initiated by Kamala Harris, then-Attorney General of California, and continued by her successor Xavier Becerra. Among numerous documented deficiencies, their investigator, who had never investigated any previous cases of illegal recording, admitted that he never asked the alleged recording “victims” any questions to probe their manufactured stories. He simply wrote down and accepted what they told him at face value. For most of the so-called “victims,” he had to inform them that they were alleged “victims,” since the videos depicting them had not yet been published. They had no idea that they were “victims” until the Attorney General’s investigator called to tell them and recruit them for this prosecution.
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Merritt’s appeal also examines the testimony of those alleged “victims” in court, each of which admitted under oath that their conversations with Merritt could be overheard by others in the public spaces where they were recorded, and they took no steps to prevent others from overhearing their candid discussion of what Planned Parenthood does behind closed doors. Under California law, conversations that “may be overheard” are, by definition, not “confidential,” and can be recorded without consent.
Liberty Counsel’s Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel Horatio Mihet said, “This political prosecution against Sandra Merritt has gone on long enough. It is time for the legal inquisition, that began with Kamala Harris at the behest of her Planned Parenthood financiers, to meet its demise. We will not rest until Sandra Merritt is vindicated.”