A Texas judge on Monday dismissed one of the charges brought up against David Daleiden, who spearheaded the undercover video investigation into Planned Parenthood’s alleged fetal parts trafficking.
Mr. Daleiden, who heads the Center for Medical Progress, was indicted in January by a Texas grand jury on two charges related to the undercover video investigation.
The first charge, a misdemeanor, was brought due to his attempt to buy human tissue illegally as a part of the undercover investigation. The second charge, a felony related to tampering with governmental records, stemmed from his use of a fake ID throughout the course of the investigation.
The charge regarding the attempted procurement of fetal tissue was dropped on Monday night by a judge in Harris County, Texas. The second charge is still pending under a different judge.
The Center for Medical Progress praised Judge Diane Bull for dismissing the “bogus” charge, which it said is the “latest confirmation that the indictments from a runaway grand jury in Houston were a politically-motivated sham all along.”
The group also said Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson colluded with Planned Parenthood in bringing forward the charges.
“The dismissal of the first indictment today sends a strong message to Planned Parenthood and their political cronies that colluding to suppress the First Amendment rights of citizen journalists will never work,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday.
Ms. Anderson’s impartiality was called into question, after it was revealed a Planned Parenthood board member works as a prosecutor in her office. Ms. Anderson said her assistant district attorney, Lauren Reeder, had no involvement in the indictment.
Mr. Daleiden’s attorneys filed motions to dismiss the indictments on Thursday, accusing the District Attorney’s Office of sharing confidential information about the case with Planned Parenthood.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, called the charges “bogus” and said the dismissal is a “huge win for the protection of the First Amendment rights for all citizen journalists.”
The CMP has released a dozen secretly recorded videos detailing Planned Parenthood’s alleged trafficking of the human remains from abortions.
The investigators often posed as prospective clients in the market for fetal tissue and recorded hourslong conversations with several Planned Parenthood officials and other prominent figures in the abortion industry.
The videos sparked a congressional investigation into the nation’s largest abortion provider and spearheaded an effort to divest the group of federal funding. Several states have defunded Planned Parenthood in response to the videos.