Same Assistant District Attorney that failed to indict another abortionist in 2013 also directed the grand jury that indicted Daleiden and Merritt.
Houston, TX – Operation Rescue has learned new information, some published in a report today by the Associate Press, which indicates the grand jury indictments against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were likely in retaliation against Operation Rescue for filing a complaint against Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen, which led to a grand jury investigation of him in 2013.
In fact, sources tell Operation Rescue that Planned Parenthood was never the focus of the Harris County investigation.
Josh Schaffer, attorney for Planned Parenthood, informed the news organization that “the grand jury never even voted on possible criminal charges” against Planned Parenthood, according to the AP report.
“No vote means no investigation,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Vice President of Operation Rescue. “The people are entitled to an unbiased investigation into the serious allegations of illegal conduct by Planned Parenthood. That does not appear to have happened.”
Based on Operation Rescue’s 2013 complaint, a grand jury investigated allegations that Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen had murdered babies born alive during shoddy abortions by twisting their heads nearly off their bodies. Photographic evidence supported those allegations.
This prompted then-Gov. Rick Perry to call a special legislative session to pass a clinic safety law known as HB2. A challenge to this law is set to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court this spring.
Chip Lewis, Karpen’s attorney, falsely accused Operation Rescue of paying three former Karpen employees to testify against him and of “doctoring” grisly photographs of babies Karpen had allegedly murdered, according to witnesses. Lewis threatened Operation Rescue after no true bill was returned against Karpen. Lewis told the Houston Chronicle, “Those responsible for bringing these wholly unfounded allegations against Dr. Karpen will be held responsible for their crimes.” He further threatened an investigation of Operation Rescue, which never materialized.
Lewis has tight connections to District Attorney Devon Anderson. He is a long time personal friend of hers and her now deceased husband, former D.A. Mike Anderson, and is the largest political donor to the Anderson family. It could be assumed that Anderson owes Lewis for his friendship and political favors.
Lewis told the AP that after the Karpen grand jury, he helped “soften the fallout” for Anderson in “Republican circles” by telling them falsehoods about Operation Rescue, who he wrongly accused of paying witnesses to testify against Karpen.
“I told them, ‘Don’t hitch your wagon to this. They’re crooks, and it’s going to be exposed,'” Lewis told the AP, referring disparagingly to Operation Rescue.
The AP article also noted that the same female Assistant District Attorney that handled the Karpen investigation also directed the grand jury that indicted Daleiden and Merritt.
Of that prosecutor, Lewis said, “I don’t think she forgot what she uncovered,” referring to bogus allegations against Operation Rescue during the Karpen grand jury.
Her bias, based at least in part on Lewis’ falsehoods, likely tainted the grand jury process, turning it against Daleiden because of his association with Newman.
“Because of Newman’s position on the CMP Board, I believe Lewis viewed the Planned Parenthood grand jury as an opportunity for revenge. Both the District Attorney and the grand jury prosecutor were unduly influenced by Lewis’ hatred of Operation Rescue,” said Sullenger.
Because the grand jury was contaminated by bias, Operation Rescue is calling for three specific remedies:
1. Drop all charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt or appoint a special prosecutor that is in no way affiliated with Devon Anderson, the Harris County District Attorney’s office or Chip Lewis.
2. Empanel a new, untainted grand jury to investigate Planned Parenthood criminality under the direction of a separate special prosecutor also unaffiliated with Devon Anderson, the Harris County District Attorney’s office or Chip Lewis.
3. Reopen the murder investigation against Douglas Karpen, with a new grand jury directed by another special prosecutor who is not affiliated with Devon Anderson, the Harris County District Attorney’s office or Chip Lewis.
“Anderson said that she would let the evidence take her where it would, and we say the evidence reveals an agenda in the District Attorney’s office, under the influence of Chip Lewis, to get even with pro-life whistleblowers who have reported evidence against abortion providers of serious crimes, including murder,” said Sullenger. “In order for there to be justice, we need to stop dipping from a poisoned well and seek unbiased people to push forward with investigations against the real culprits.”