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Calif. Seizes Undercover Videos from Pro-Life Filmmaker's Home

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An indicted pro-life activist says California Department of Justice agents raided his home and confiscated a series of undercover videos. The footage allegedly implicates Planned Parenthood officials in arranging the illegal sale of fetal tissue.

The agents "seized all video footage showing Planned Parenthood's criminal trade in aborted baby parts, in addition to my personal information," David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, wrote in a Facebook post.

Daleiden also claimed the agents did not take documents that show Planned Parenthood was involved in illegal behavior regarding the handling of fetal tissue.

CMP spokesman Peter Robbio told The Associated Press the Facebook post is authentic; he noted that Daleiden lives in Orange County, but declined further comment.

CBN News left a voice message with The Center for Medical Progress and emailed the organization, requesting comment, but received no response. Daleiden's attorney in Texas, Terry Yates, also did not respond.

According to The Associated Press, Rachele Huennekens, a spokeswoman for state Attorney General Kamala Harris, said in an email that she is not able to comment on any ongoing investigation.

In July, Harris said she planned to examine the undercover videos to see if CMP went against any state charity registration or requirements related to reporting. For instance, Harris wants to know whether Daleiden and a colleague posed as representatives of a fake biomedical company, or shot the videos without getting the consent of Planned Parenthood.

Daleiden suggested in his Facebook post that politics motivated the decision not to confiscate the documents because Harris has taken in campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood. Harris is running for the U.S. Senate.

Prominent pro-life advocate Penny Nance accused Harris of corruption and abuse of power. "While she uses her KGB-like tactics to seize personal property of an innocent American citizen, she's simultaneously running for U.S. Senate and using her campaign website to promote and defend Planned Parenthood," Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, said in a statement.

Daleiden faces charges in Texas. The undercover videos were released in August, prompting Texas authorities to at first launch a grand jury investigation of Planned Parenthood.

However, the grand jury found Planned Parenthood not guilty of misusing fetal tissue and instead indicted Daleiden and a colleague, Sandra Merritt, in January.

According to The Washington Times, CMP investigators are charged with a felony count of tampering with a governmental record resulting from their use of fake driver's licenses. Daleiden also faces a charge of attempting to procure human organs, specifically fetal tissue, through a fake company.

But Daleiden has said CMP obeyed the law when they made the videos, calling the raid an "attack on citizen journalism."

"We will pursue all remedies to vindicate our First Amendment rights," he vowed on his Facebook post.

According to FoxNews.com, Matt Heffron, a former federal prosecutor and a legal adviser to Daleiden, called the raid "outrageously out of proportion for the type of crime alleged."

"It's a discredit to law enforcement (and) an oppressive abuse of government power," he charged.

 

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