The Harris County District Attorney’s office has officially dropped all charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the undercover investigators from the Center for Medical Progress who exposed Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue sales operation earlier this year.
Daleiden and Merritt were facing a felony charge of tampering with a government record, which could have resulted in up to 20 years behind bars. The pair used false identification to gain access to a Planned Parenthood clinic, leading to their indictment earlier this year.
The Harris County District Attorney’s office originally indicted Daleiden and Merritt on January 25, on a felony charge of “tampering with a governmental record,” and a misdemeanor charge for violating the state’s “prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs.” However, Judge Diane Bull dismissed the misdemeanor charge last month.
Moments after the final charge was dismissed this morning, Daleiden appeared to mock Planned Parenthood via Twitter:
— David Daleiden (@daviddaleiden) July 26, 2016
Daleiden and Merritt posed as employees of Biomax, a fictitious biological supply company wishing to purchase human organs from Planned Parenthood. In the course of a sting operation that lasted almost three years, Daleiden recorded undercover video of Planned Parenthood employees dissecting aborted babies, processing the fetal tissue, then using budgeting gimmicks to cover up the sale of the organs and other body parts of aborted babies.
They then released the videos over the course of several months, triggering public outrage and 12 state investigations into Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. A Congressional Select Committee Panel was also formed to investigate the claims.
Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups denounced the videos, claiming that they were selectively edited; however, an independent forensic analysis by the group Coalfire Systems, Inc. found no evidence of video manipulation.
Left-wing groups complained that the investigation was unfair and dishonest. Casey Mattox, Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, strongly disagrees.
“American taxpayers have a substantial ownership interest in Planned Parenthood since close to 40 percent of its revenue comes from us,” Mattox told National Review earlier this year. “I have no qualms about this kind of investigation and neither does the Left, if they’re being honest. This is not the first secret investigation in American history. In fact, it is common for abortion activists to pose as women in a crisis pregnancy and contact pregnancy centers. Rather than rejecting those tactics they have been touted by abortion supporters and even resulted in a minority report from Congressman Henry Waxman several years ago. In recent years more left-wing activists have launched similar investigations against SeaWorld, the meat processing industry, and others. Their objection to the CMP investigation is quite selective.”