Dems looking to stifle group who made Planned Parenthood videos

Several House Democrats have sent a letter to the Justice Department asking for an investigation of the group that made the Planned Parenthood videos, claiming that state and federal laws could have been broken.

The Hill:

A group of Democrats, led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), sent a letter Wednesday to the Department of Justice arguing the undercover videos from The Center for Medical Progress may have broken federal and state laws.   

The Center for Medical Progress, which is going after Planned Parenthood because of its abortion services, created a fake company to gain access to its facilities and meetings with its high-level officials.

Staffers for the California-based pro-life group posed as buyers for a medical research firm to ask Planned Parenthood about fetal tissue donations – a tactic that the lawmakers say could be illegal.    

“This elaborate scheme raises serious questions about whether any federal or state laws were violated in securing the LLC or the personal identification that were part of its execution,” the Democrats wrote to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The members also raised questions about “possible coordination between the Center for Medical Progress and members of Congress who knew about the first video weeks in advance of its release.”

Several House Republicans, including Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) have said they saw the video weeks before it was made public.

Additionally, the Democrats said the secretly recorded video may be illegal under California law, as it was filmed without the consent of the Planned Parenthood doctor.

The letter was also signed by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.).

If DoJ does investigate, its intent will be to intimidate CMP rather than look for any violations of law.  It would be a stretch to find CMP guilty of violating federal law, although California apparently has some pretty strict rules on recording people.  CMP might want to make the argument that the videos are political speech and protected by the 1st Amendment. 

Once again, Democrats are looking to criminalize speech that they don't much care for.

Several House Democrats have sent a letter to the Justice Department asking for an investigation of the group that made the Planned Parenthood videos, claiming that state and federal laws could have been broken.

The Hill:

A group of Democrats, led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), sent a letter Wednesday to the Department of Justice arguing the undercover videos from The Center for Medical Progress may have broken federal and state laws.   

The Center for Medical Progress, which is going after Planned Parenthood because of its abortion services, created a fake company to gain access to its facilities and meetings with its high-level officials.

Staffers for the California-based pro-life group posed as buyers for a medical research firm to ask Planned Parenthood about fetal tissue donations – a tactic that the lawmakers say could be illegal.    

“This elaborate scheme raises serious questions about whether any federal or state laws were violated in securing the LLC or the personal identification that were part of its execution,” the Democrats wrote to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The members also raised questions about “possible coordination between the Center for Medical Progress and members of Congress who knew about the first video weeks in advance of its release.”

Several House Republicans, including Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) have said they saw the video weeks before it was made public.

Additionally, the Democrats said the secretly recorded video may be illegal under California law, as it was filmed without the consent of the Planned Parenthood doctor.

The letter was also signed by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.).

If DoJ does investigate, its intent will be to intimidate CMP rather than look for any violations of law.  It would be a stretch to find CMP guilty of violating federal law, although California apparently has some pretty strict rules on recording people.  CMP might want to make the argument that the videos are political speech and protected by the 1st Amendment. 

Once again, Democrats are looking to criminalize speech that they don't much care for.