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The raid suggests he may be under criminal investigation.
The home of David Daleiden, one of the masterminds behind the viral videos purporting that Planned Parenthood was selling fetal tissue, has been raided by California authorities. The investigators took a laptop and hard drives, which could mean that he is being further investigated for his work.
The Planned Parenthood videos, released last summer by a group called the Center for Medical Progress, featured undercover footage taken of PP officials who did not realize the true identities of the people they were speaking with. The videos’ release created a firestorm at a time when Congress was deciding whether or not to defund Planned Parenthood.
Despite support from high-profile politicians like Sen. John McCain, former Speaker John Boehner and former republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, the videos were proven to be very much manipulated. Daleiden was convicted of fraud by a Houston grand jury back in February.
Daleiden claims his First Amendment rights have been violated by the California Department of Justice raid Tuesday night, issuing a statement via the Center for Medical Progress Facebook page:
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.
He may not have been successful at bringing down Planned Parenthood, but he’s pretty good at creating pointed hashtags.
Correction: An earlier version of the headline incorrectly identified the law enforcement agency behind the raid on Daleiden, which was led by California authorities. We regret the error.
Marisa Kabas is a lifestyle reporter and activist. Her work has been published by Fusion, Fast Company, and Today. She’s also served as an editorial campaigns director for Purpose PBC, a social movement incubator.