Congressional Democrats on Monday called for the chief of the U.S. anti-abortion group responsible for undercover videos slamming Planned Parenthood to testify alongside officials from the women’s healthcare organization in a hearing next week.
The hearing, set for Sept. 29 in the House of Representatives, is expected to draw a lot of attention because it will happen a day before the end of the federal fiscal year, when the U.S. government may run out of money.
Conservative Republicans are threatening to shut down the government if Planned Parenthood’s federal funding is not cut off, a demand they base on what they say are revelations from the videos made and released by the Center for Medical Progress.
David Daleiden, a 26-year-old anti-abortion activist who founded the center and produced the videos, should appear at the hearing, 18 Democratic representatives said in a letter to Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz.
If Republicans do not add Daleiden to the hearing testimony list, Democrats said in the letter that they will invite Daleiden to appear at a separate Democratic hearing on the same day.
“It is fundamentally unfair to hold a public hearing to essentially indict Planned Parenthood in the court of public opinion without hearing directly from their accuser, David Daleiden,” the Democrats wrote in the letter.
They said Daleiden had “deceptively edited secretly recorded videos in an ultimately unsuccessful three-year crusade to entrap Planned Parenthood.”
A representative for the chairman’s office declined to comment on the letter. The Center for Medical Progress did not respond to phone calls requesting comment.
Planned Parenthood has come under fire since the release of the secretly recorded videos that critics say show officials for the women’s healthcare organization discussing the illegal sale of tissue from aborted fetuses. The issue has become a focus for both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates.
Planned Parenthood has said it has done nothing wrong. It has fought back by suing in several states to oppose funding cuts and commissioning an analysis that it says showed the videos were deceptively edited.
In the letter, Democrats said Planned Parenthood has tried to comply with the demands of the committee, which has been investigating the organization since August. Planned Parenthood has supplied more than 20,000 pages of documents on its funding, federal tax status and highest-paid employees, according to the letter.
Democrats requested a response to their letter by Wednesday.
‘It’s treachery if not treason’: Harvard’s Laurence Tribe destroys Trump’s claim he’s above the law
Legendary constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe explained the legality of President Donald Trump's claim to be above the law during a Thursday evening appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.
The host played a notorious clip of Trump.
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters. Okay? It’s like incredible," Trump argued.
"And now he has gone beyond that," O'Donnell noted. "Now the president is sayin, 'I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and I cannot be prosecuted for that crime. Or any crime.'"
Internet blown away by Giuliani’s ‘pants-sh*tting panic’ freak out on CNN’s Cuomo
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received harsh reviews of his Thursday evening appearance on CNN with anchor Chris Cuomo.
Many people worried about Giuliani's mental health after watching the interview.
Here is some of what people were saying about Trump's defense attorney.
Maddow is visibly shocked Trump is claiming in court the president can’t even be investigated
The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC was flabbergasted by the latest court moves by President Donald Trump as he continues to hide his tax returns from investigators.
The host noted the ongoing legal battle Trump is waging to keep his accounting firm, Mazars, from handing over eight years of his tax returns to New York state investigators.
The host was shocked by the headline on the front-page of The Washington Post website.
[caption id="attachment_1544917" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Headline in The New York Times: "Trump Lawyers Argue He Cannot Be Criminally Investigated" screengrab.[/caption]