Merritt Appeals CA’s ‘Politically Motivated’ Criminal Charges

Sandra-Merritt with Liberty Counsel’s Harry Mihet and Matt Staver – (Photo courtesy of Liberty Counsel)

Merritt’s undercover work exposed Planned Parenthood’s unethical and potentially illegal profiteering from the sale of aborted baby body parts.

LIBERTY ALERTS, LIBERTY COUNSEL

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Sandra “Susan” Merritt has filed an appeal asking the court to dismiss the politically motivated 15-count felony criminal charges brought against her by California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra. The trial court has refused to dismiss these charged, even though the Attorney General has a documented bias and has publicly pledged to “stand with Planned Parenthood.”

Liberty Counsel is defending Merritt for her undercover work in exposing Planned Parenthood’s unethical and potentially illegal profiteering from the sale of aborted baby body parts.

Merritt sought to recuse the Attorney General and to dismiss the case for selective, discriminatory prosecution through a motion filed with the trial court, which demonstrated that Becerra and his predecessor, now Senator Kamala Harris, received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood. In addition, after the “investigation” began under then-AG Harris, the Attorney General’s office maintained an ongoing financial, political, and close working relationship with executive officers and employees of various Planned Parenthood entities. The motion demonstrated an indisputable loyalty by the attorney general to Planned Parenthood.

Attorney General Becerra made it very clear, publicly, when speaking at a Planned Parenthood event with the words “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” behind him.

Attorney General Becerra made it very clear, publicly, when speaking at a Planned Parenthood event with the words “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” behind him

The recusal and dismissal motion also demonstrated how the investigation has been contaminated by the direct involvement of a Planned Parenthood employee, who directed the AG’s investigators to seize computers for Planned Parenthood from Merritt’s co-defendant, David Daleiden. Private meetings between Planned Parenthood representatives and former Attorney General Kamala Harris also resulted in a list of “action items” to be accomplished between the two entities. Meanwhile, both entities collaborated extensively to further prevent the release of videos exposing Planned Parenthood. They drafted Assembly Bill 1671, which was eventually enacted as Penal Code 632.1, which purports to criminalize Merritt’s actions, just as Planned Parenthood wanted.

Not only does the camaraderie and collaboration between Planned Parenthood and the Attorney General demonstrate a severe conflict of interest, but there are numerous other, well-publicized, undercover investigations that have taken place in California – exposing the meat industry, unethical treatment of animals, or consumer fraud – and yet Merritt and Daleiden are the first undercover journalists to be criminally prosecuted in the history of the state. Liberty Counsel has shown that, to date, no other citizen journalist or journalism organization has ever been charged with a crime for undercover recordings made in the public interest. Together, the weight of the evidence demonstrates that the prosecution against Merritt is selective and discriminatory.  

 

Despite this evidence, the San Francisco Superior Court has denied Merritt’s motion. The trial court did not even grant Merritt an evidentiary hearing, as is legally required. Merritt has now appealed.

“The irrefutable evidence of Attorney General Becerra’s bias comes straight from the horse’s mouth,” said Horatio Mihet, Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel at Liberty Counsel. “Attorney General Becerra has no business prosecuting this case, after pledging publicly to ‘stand with Planned Parenthood.’ The people of California deserve better, and the law plainly requires more,” said Mihet.


Used with the permission of Liberty Counsel.


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