Anti-choice activist and his lawyers could go to prison over smear campaign against Planned Parenthood
The anti-choice activist who engineered the doctored video smear campaign against Planned Parenthood could face prison time for his role in the trumped-up scandal.
BuzzFeed.com reported Sunday that David Daleiden might be joined behind bars by his criminal defense attorneys over violations of court orders over the course of Daleiden’s trial.
“Late last month,” wrote BuzzFeed’s Ema O’Connor, “David Daleiden and his team of criminal attorneys allegedly flouted multiple injunctions and court-issued seals by posting more shocking videos of abortion providers and identifying 14 of the John/Jane Does participating in the state criminal complaint against him and his recording partner Sandra Merritt. Those names were previously under a court seal.”
The violation of the court’s orders could land Daleiden and his legal team in contempt of federal and state courts, punishable by fines, jail time and disbarment for the attorneys involved.
Daleiden, his co-conspirator Sandra Merritt — founders of the deceptively-named Center for Medical Progress — were charged in May by California prosecutors with 15 felony violations. The group’s doctored videos featuring secretly recorded footage of Planned Parenthood employees alleged that the healthcare provider is a hub for the black market sale of “baby parts.”
The videos touched off a firestorm of controversy, led to two Congressional investigations and is believed to have motivated 57-year-old Robert Dear to open fire on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs in November of 2015.
At midnight on May 25, Daleiden, 28, and his attorneys Brentford Ferreira and Steve Cooley “posted the list of names of Daleiden’s accusers in the case, as well as a short cut-together of Daleiden’s hidden camera footage and a link to seventeen new videos, secretly recorded at the National Abortion Federation’s (NAF) 2014 and 2015 annual meetings.”
A federal court issued an injunction against the release of the names of Daleiden’s accusers and the additional video, which the defense team intentionally violated in the name of defending their client. The new videos are seconds-long clips devoid of context that may well be — like the previous videos released by CMP — heavily doctored and deceptively edited.