Republican committee chair admits: No evidence Planned Parenthood misused federal funding
Rep. Jason Caffetz (R-UT), who spearheaded the House GOP committee that investigated Planned Parenthood, admitted on Thursday that there was no indication that the womens’ health organization had misused its federal funding, the Huffington Post reported.
“Did I look at the finances and have a hearing specifically as to the revenue portion and how they spend? Yes,” Chaffetz said during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee meeting. “Was there any wrongdoing? I didn’t find any.”
The congressman’s concession came just over a week after he began the committee’s hearings by suggesting that his parents would still be alive today if some of the $500 million Planned Parenthood gets every year had been used to boost cancer research, instead.
Chaffetz’s admission is also the latest setback in Republicans’ efforts to strip funding from the organization, which were instigated by a series of quickly-debunked videos promoted by an anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress.
Democrats on the committee are now asking to speak to the man behind the videos, David Daleiden, accusing him of taking part in “a host of potentially illegal activities, including filing false documents with government agencies, falsely impersonating a legitimate business concern, soliciting charitable contributions under false pretenses, and secretly recording Planned Parenthood officials without their consent.”
Daleiden’s organization claimed that the videos showed Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of fetal tissue, which is prohibited under the terms of its federal funding agreement. Those allegations incited some conservatives into accusing Planned Parenthood of using that money for abortions, which is not the case.
Moreover, as MSNBC reported, the organization has also been cleared of any allegations of wrongdoing after investigations in several states.
Chaffetz, who is bidding to become House Speaker following John Boehner’s (R-OH) resignation, said on Thursday that he supported further investigations into Planned Parenthood’s activities, but that “Did we find any wrongdoing? The answer was no.”