Anti-abortion activist David Daleiden, who targeted the healthcare group Planned Parenthood with a series of undercover videos, had his home raided by California Department of Justice agents according to his attorney this Wednesday.
Civil attorney Charles LiMandi said that eleven agents seized four computers with hundreds of hours of video footage from Daleiden’s apartment in Huntington Beach on Tuesday. Daleiden’s group, the Center for Medical Progress, started releasing videos in 2015 claiming to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to negotiate prices for aborted fetal tissue. Under federal law, donated fetal tissue can be used for research, but it is prohibited to profit from its sale. Planned Parenthood has denied any accusations and claimed the probe was politically motivated.
The videos caused a political uproar that led to several Republican states as well as Republicans in Congress to try to halt funding for Planned Parenthood. The videos reignited the debate over abortion rights that has become one central issue of the current presidential campaign, also leading to legislation that attacked women’s healthcare across the country.
From The Huffington Post:
Asked about the raid, Brenda Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for California Attorney General Kamala Harris, said: “I cannot comment on any ongoing investigation.”
Harris said last year she would “review” the undercover videos. On Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the matter said her office was conducting an investigation.
Daleiden is under criminal investigation in Texas, where he was indicted in February for tampering with a government record and violating a prohibition on the purchase and sale of human body parts.
LiMandri said the California seizure came “out of nowhere” as Daleiden continued to cooperate with authorities in civil investigations. He added that Daleiden was working to secure a criminal attorney.
Daleiden was indicted in February and is under criminal investigation in Texas for tampering with a government record and violating the prohibition on the purchase and sale of human tissue. LiMandi claims that the seizure of Daleiden’s property came “out of nowhere” as he was continuing to cooperate with authorities in the civil investigations. “We will pursue all remedies to vindicate our First Amendment rights,” Daleiden said in a statement.
According to HuffPo, Planned Parenthood said that the raid showed Daleiden was “paying the price” for his undercover videos.
“David Daleiden’s lies are catching up with him,” PP’s Communications Director Erica Sackin said in a statement.
Featured image: Robin Marty (Flickr)