Kline says destroyed KDHE records not necessary for prosecution since Judge Anderson maintained true copies that were basis for determining Planned Parenthood committed felonies
By Cheryl Sullenger
Topeka, KS – A press statement released by Attorney General Derek Schmidt and District Attorney Steve Howe on Friday concerning the dismissal of the criminal case against Planned Parenthood contained false and misleading statements concerning the destroyed evidence that led to the dismissal of the 49 most serious charges against the Overland Park abortion business.
Operation Rescue obtained documentation provided by Judge Richard Anderson last week in response to an open records request that shows the evidence that could have been used to prosecute Planned Parenthood still exists under his protection in Shawnee County, Kansas.
Now, in response to a request for clarification from Operation Rescue, former Kansas prosecutor Phill Kline, who originally filed the case against Planned Parenthood, points to the record to show evidence still under Judge Anderson’s protection was sufficient for the prosecution of Planned Parenthood on the felony “false writing” charges.
“Schmidt and Howe’s misrepresentation of the facts surrounding the Termination of Pregnancy reports that were the basis for the felony counts only further implicates them as co-conspirators with Planned Parenthood to destroy the case filed by former Kansas prosecutor Phill Kline,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “The fact is, they are lying to the people of Kansas about the evidence in an effort to make a controversial case ‘go away.’ But people deserve to know the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it is for the Republican Party.”
Schmidt and Howe stated the following in their joint press statement issued on August 17, 2012, concerning the 49 criminal counts based on the Termination of Pregnancy (TOP) reports:
These charges were dismissed in November, 2011, because the KDHE records upon which they were based had been destroyed approximately six years previously. These included 23 felony counts.
The records destruction referred to by Schmidt and Howe is the destruction of the original TOP forms submitted by Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood (CHPP) to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment sometime in 2005.
Kline received true copies of the TOP records from KDHE, which were placed in the custody of Judge Richard Anderson on November 4, 2005. Those documents still exist according to a Protective Order that specifically cataloged them issued by Judge Anderson on January 11, 2012.
This proves that the evidence against Planned Parenthood was available to Howe at the time he walked into a Johnson County courtroom and fallaciously told Judge Stephen Tatum that all copies of the records had been destroyed, leaving him no way to authenticate the copies in his possession.
Operation Rescue asked Kline if the TOP records possessed by Anderson could have been used in Howe’s prosecution. Kline referenced quotes from the Kansas v. Planned Parenthood KS Supreme Court Ruling that remanded the criminal case back to Howe and removed the gag order on Anderson and the records in his custody to show that Anderson’s documents were sufficient evidence.
Anderson himself used the TOPs documents in his possession to come to the conclusion that Planned Parenthood had committed felonies related to the manufacturing of evidence to cover up for the fact that they failed to maintain copies of the TOP forms in the patient records as required by law. Anderson determined that the evidence in his possession must be preserved for any future prosecution.
The Kansas v. Planned Parenthood KS Supreme Court ruling, penned by the radically pro-abortion Justice Carol Beier, noted this and quoted directly from Anderson’s pleadings in the Morrison v. Anderson suit that attempted to disgorge Anderson of the evidence against Planned Parenthood.
On October 19, 2007, Judge Anderson filed his sealed response to the Morrison v. Anderson petition … Judge Anderson described his observations of the patient medical records produced by the two clinics, saying “returning evidence to CHPP and WHCS at this point in time would unacceptably increase the risk that the evidence could be lost, destroyed or compromised while active investigations and prosecutions are [ongoing].” He further stated that it appeared “KDHE reports [received from CHPP], which are required by law to be filed and maintained for five years, do not match copies obtained from KDHE.” Moreover, he said that he had permitted Kline to keep copies of the CHPP patient records because they raised
“substantial factual and legal issues about CHPP compliance with the law . . . . The recent disclosures of possible false writings, which in context could mean that somebody may have committed a felony in an attempt to cover up a misdemeanor, convinces the District Court that no hasty decision should be made about management of the files which would risk loss or destruction of the as-filed redacted medical files of CHPP.”
Furthermore, Beier notes in the Kansas v. Planned Parenthood ruling that when Anderson testified in response to Kline’s subpoena on January 18, 2008, the TOP records that he brought to court with him were in the same condition as when produced. Beier wrote:
The subpoena duces tecum directed to Judge Anderson to secure his testimony and the availability of certain documents at the hearing also is not in the record before us. But the hearing transcript again can be relied upon to identify at least some of the documents Judge Anderson brought to court that day. Among them were copies of KDHE reports produced by the agency in the Inquisition. Judge Anderson testified that these KDHE reports remained in the same form as when they were produced by the agency.
The destruction of the original TOP forms by KDHE in 2005 and the alleged destruction of the TOP report copies in the custody of the Attorney General’s office in 2009 were not obstacles to the prosecution since the record clearly shows that the TOP documents in Anderson’s possession were true copies of the originals that Howe could have used to authenticate his copies.
Today, those records remain in the custody of the Shawnee County Clerk of the Court under a Protective Order issued by Judge Anderson on January 11, 2012, two months after Howe told a judge that he could not prosecute Planned Parenthood on the “false writing” felonies and associated other charges because the supposed “last complete copy” was destroyed by the AG’s office in 2009, creating “insurmountable” legal hurdles.
When asked, Kline also stated that Howe could easily show a chain of custody for the TOP records by simply calling former investigator Tom Williams and former AG office employee Jared Reed, who made the copies that ended up in the custody of the offices of the District Attorney and Attorney General. This Howe has refused to do, insuring that the most serious of the Planned Parenthood charges could not move forward.
Operation Rescue is preparing ethics complaints against Howe and Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor, who failed in his duty to investigate the destruction of evidence requested by Schmidt. The Attorney General accepted Taylor’s non-investigation by Taylor then joined Howe in covering up the fact that the evidence still exists.
“The fix was in from the beginning. Howe and Schmidt wanted this case to go away, so they used a smoke-and-mirrors excuse that confused the public and falsely represented that a prosecution could not move forward. They have basically played the court and the public for fools,” said Newman. “This deception makes both Schmidt and Howe unfit to serve and we continue to call for the resignation of both men.”
In the mean time, Phill Kline continues to fight a politically motivated ethics complaint and to clear his name.
“Kline was made the whipping boy in all this because his political enemies have needed to discredit him and destroy the evidence in order protect Planned Parenthood from a criminal prosecution that could have endangered hundreds of millions of tax dollars that now flow from Federal coffers to Planned Parenthood organizations each year,” said Newman.
“Kline’s prosecution of Planned Parenthood was sound and based on probable cause findings of thee Kansas judges. But Howe and Schmidt have now successfully accomplished the obstruction of justice that began under the Sebelius Administration by trashing the case through the use of deception and falsehoods – and we can prove it. Now it’s time to drop the bogus ethics case against Kline. It is the last hope of salvaging any shred of justice from this debacle.”
Read full background story: “New Docs from Kansas Judge Reveal Planned Parenthood Charges Fraudulently Dropped”