Yesterday Judge William Orrick held David Daleiden, the Center for Medical Progress, and two of David’s criminal defense attorneys in civil contempt for violating a court order prohibiting the release of video footage related to NAF conferences and related meetings. The footage was posted to a private website in May.
Orrick said Daleiden’s lawyers published undercover video footage of a National Abortion Federation meeting in violation of a court order.
“Criminal defense counsel … do not get to decide whether they can violate the preliminary injunction,” Orrick said Tuesday in court.
Daleiden’s criminal defense attorneys argued that the videos are essential to providing David with a robust public defense after California Attorney General Xavier Beccera charged Daleiden and Sandra Merritt with 15 felony counts of eavesdropping.
The first set of charges were dismissed by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite in the criminal case for lack of specificity. Beccera recently amended and refiled the charges, this time including the file names of certain videos. However, the charges still do not name the individuals involved in the conversations during which Planned Parenthood doctors and other abortionists discuss the sale of fetal body parts for profit.
Judge Orrick’s contempt order awards approximately $137,000 to the National Abortion Federation for attorney fees and for alleged staff time to scour the internet looking for links to the Daleiden videos.
On a positive note, Judge Hite was receptive to arguments that the amended charges against Susan Merritt were not properly filed. An update will follow as soon as we know whether these charges will be dismissed.
“As always, the abortion cartel is furious that its trade in baby body parts and its willingness to violate laws that protect preborn babies from gruesome abortion procedures are being exposed,” said Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director Alexandra Snyder.
“Since the first video release two years ago, they have been waging a vicious campaign to punish-and permanently silence-our client.”