Sen. Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president Wednesday night, exactly three weeks after journalist and pro-life activist David Daleiden appeared in a San Francisco Superior Court, once again fighting the criminal charges Harris brought against him at the behest of her political donors four years prior. As Harris joins a campaign fighting for the “soul of our nation,” Daleiden continues a years-long battle for countless unborn souls and the First Amendment, both of which Harris has a record of fighting against.
In March 2016, as the California attorney general, Harris met with six Planned Parenthood officials in her Los Angeles office. Email records between Harris’s office and Planned Parenthood officials show the two were corresponding on orchestrating public responses, filing police reports, and even drafting legislation targeting Daleiden for his undercover videos exposing the abortion giant’s illegal practices.
Two of the six executives in that meeting went on to be used as witnesses in Harris’s criminal investigation. Harris has been a staunch abortion advocate and received tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from Planned Parenthood-affiliated entities over the course of her political career.
Two weeks following that Los Angeles meeting, on April 5, 2016, Harris ordered state law enforcement agents to raid Daleiden’s home, tasking them with seizing his camera equipment, documents, and unreleased video footage. Daleiden’s attorneys argued Harris’s search warrant should have never been issued according to California’s shield law, which explicitly protects citizen journalists’ unpublished materials.
Instead, a judge ruled “there was sufficient probable cause in the warrant that Daleiden was engaged in criminal activity irrespective of his journalistic status and that the items seized were related to the criminal activity.” Nevermind that those items seized included evidence of Planned Parenthood’s own criminal activity, including the trafficking of fetal body parts, which Harris never bothered to prosecute or investigate.
How blatant was Harris’s targeting of Daleiden and her disregard for a journalist’s First Amendment rights? For starters, Daleiden is the first person to ever be prosecuted for undercover video reporting in California. Her own deputy prosecutor later admitted in court that Daleiden was targeted solely because of the content his videos.
Harris’s own personal double standard goes even further. In 2013, she protected an animal rights group, Mercy for Animals (MFA), that used hidden cameras to expose alleged abuse at a poultry farm. Rather than seeking charges against MFA, Harris threw her support behind them, filing a notice to appeal against a federal judge’s previous ruling.
“David had a reasonable belief that he could find evidence of a felony crime of violence against human beings, namely, infanticide, that is, the killing of babies born alive with beating hearts,” said Thomas Brejcha, one of Daleiden’s attorneys. “These children – whom fetal tissue traffickers refer to as ‘intact fetuses’ – are the source from whom ‘fresh’ organs were harvested and ‘donated.’ These ‘donations’ were acquired at premium prices in dollar amounts bearing no ascertainable relationship to actual costs incurred in their ‘production.’”
Harris’s record as an attorney general shows she did more to fight against the alleged abuse of chickens than she did against the trafficking of human fetuses for profit. Furthermore, it shows her willingness to only extend First Amendment protections to those she views as politically expedient.
As for Daleiden, the legal battle initiated by Harris four years ago continues. In a hearing on July 28, Daleiden’s lawyers asked Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos to drop the 10 criminal counts against him and his partner, Sandra Merritt. Bolanos dropped one charge as “duplicative,” but kept the rest, leaving Daleiden and Merritt’s legal to another appeals court. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.