Center for Medical Progress President David Daleiden announced Wednesday he is suing Planned Parenthood, Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, and the Attorney General of California for an alleged “brazen, unprecedented, and ongoing conspiracy.”
Daleiden’s lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, claims Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the other defendants conspired to violate First and Fourteenth Amendment civil rights, according to a CMP press release, comes as presidential candidate Joe Biden considers picking Harris as his vice president in the 2020 election.
The new lawsuit stems from a years-long conflict between Planned Parenthood and Daleiden, who has said that the organization profits from fetal body parts obtained through abortions.
Planned Parenthood said the videos were deceptively edited, sued both Daleiden and CMP in March 2016, and was awarded more than $2 million in damages in November 2019 after a jury ruled that Daleiden broke both federal and state laws when he secretly filmed the Planned Parenthood workers.
The prosecution of Daleiden was “politically motivated,” and targeted him “based on the content of his speech, not the method of his journalism,” Daleiden’s defense attorney Harmeet Dhillon said.
“Equally chilling is the way political patrons of then-AG Harris — Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation, were closely involved in law enforcement and prosecutorial decisions and actions at every step of the process,” Dhillon said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Daleiden’s lawsuit contends that he was the first journalist to be criminally prosecuted under California’s recording law, adding that this was not because of the methods Daleiden used but because of what he uncovered through his investigation.
“The California Attorney General first admitted that they are enforcing the video recording law solely based on how they feel about the message being published, and then further admitted they are not even trying to follow the text of the law as written,” Daleiden said in a statement provided to the DCNF.
“CMP’s undercover reporting has been corroborated by the successful prosecution of fetal body parts sales we reported in southern California, multiple Congressional investigations, and forensic video analysis,” Daleiden added. “It is every reporter’s First Amendment right to underscore the gravity of their findings, especially when the politically powerful disagree with them.”
Harris, Planned Parenthood, and Becerra did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the DCNF.
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