While California Department of Justice agents were raiding the home of the pro-life activist behind a series of undercover Planned Parenthood videos, their boss was helping the abortion provider fight for public funding, prompting critics to complain of a conflict of interest.
Kamala Harris, the state attorney general and Democratic candidate for Senate, has a link on her campaign website for visitors to sign a petition on behalf of Planned Parenthood. That fact, coupled with the Tuesday raid in Orange County in which agents who answer to Harris took a laptop and hard drives from the home of Center for medical Progress Executive Director David Daleiden, has created a firestorm.
“To storm into a private citizen’s home with a search warrant is outrageously out of proportion for the type of crime alleged. It’s a discredit to law enforcement, an oppressive abuse of government power,” Matt Heffron, a former federal prosecutor in Phoenix and now a legal adviser to Daleiden, said in a statement.
“To storm into a private citizen’s home with a search warrant is outrageously out of proportion for the type of crime alleged. It’s a discredit to law enforcement, an oppressive abuse of government power.”
- Matt Heffron, a former federal prosecutor in Phoenix
Daleiden‘s group released more than a dozen undercover videos last year showing Planned Parenthood officials and subcontractors discussing the alleged sale of fetal tissue, in what would be a violation of federal law. The videos prompted several states to strip Planned Parenthood of state funding, and calls from federal lawmakers to do the same.
But a grand jury convened in Houston, where some of the footage was shot, found Daleiden guilty of tampering with governmental records for using a fake driver’s license as part of his undercover sting. He faces up to 22 years in prison. The search warrant application listed materials related to the video footage of Dr. Deb Nucatola, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s senior director of medical services, and Dr. Mary Gatter, president of PPFA’s medical directors counsel, according to Daleiden’s legal team.
In one of the CMP videos, Nucatola said that she would use “less crunchy techniques” to obtain intact fetal tissue better suited for medical research. Federal law bans any alteration of the “timing, method or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy … solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue.”
Daleiden’s supporters say the raid smells like payback from Harris, whose campaign website asks voters to “take a stand and join Kamala in defending Planned Parenthood.”
“Voting to strip federal funding from an organization that provides vital health services to 2.7 million Americans is the epitome of dysfunction,” says the Harris petition.
Brenda Gonzalez, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, declined to comment on the raid.
Harris, is facing Rep. Loretta Sanchez in the Democratic primary for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer. She said last year that she intended to review the Center for Medical Progress’ undercover videos, and a March 25 column in the Los Angeles Times reviewed the prosecution of Daleiden in Texas and asked “What’s taking California so long?”
“Kamala Harris is engaged in the highest level of corruption and abuse of power,” said Penny Nance, of Concerned Women for America. “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 web site to promote and defend Planned Parenthood and its atrocious practice of harvesting, trafficking and selling baby parts.”