Investigators with the California Department of Justice searched the apartment of anti-abortion activist David Daleiden Tuesday night, seizing a laptop and hard drives, he told the Washington Post. Daleiden was indicted by a Texas grand jury earlier this year on fraud charges; the California raid indicates he is being investigated for possible criminal activity there as well.
Daleiden’s Center for Medical Progress has published a series of bogus sting videos against Planned Parenthood and affiliated organizations, which turned up no actual wrongdoing, but did contribute to increased violence against abortion providers. Daleiden announced on Facebook that his apartment was being searched by, in his words, “the California Attorney General’s office, led by Kamala Harris, Planned Parenthood supported with thousands of dollars.”
Daleiden told the Post’s Sandhya Somashekhar that the investigators took a laptop and several hard drives containing video footage, “including some very damning footage that has yet to be released to the public,” he told her. (Somashekhar published a flattering and very gentle profile of Daleiden in October).
He issued a statement on Facebook saying Harris’s office was violating his First Amendment rights:
Today, the California Attorney General’s office of Kamala Harris, who was elected with tens of thousands of dollars from taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood, seized all video footage showing Planned Parenthood’s criminal trade in aborted baby parts, in addition to my personal information. Ironically, while seizing my First Amendment work product, they ignored documents showing the illicit scheme between StemExpress and Planned Parenthood. This is no surprise—Planned Parenthood’s bought-and-paid-for AG has steadfastly refused to enforce the law against the baby body parts traffickers in our state, or even investigate them—while at the same time doing their bidding to harass and intimidate citizen journalists. We will pursue all remedies to vindicate our First Amendment rights.
Both Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, who appeared undercover in some of the CMP videos, are being prosecuted in Texas on charges of tampering with a government record, for using fake IDs. Daleiden also faces a misdemeanor count related to the “prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs.”
Harris’s office told several news outlets they won’t comment on an ongoing investigation.
Daleiden speaks to media in Houston after posting bond, February 4, 2016. Photo via AP