Did District Attorney’s office intentionally misdirect the grand jury’s investigation?
Wichita, KS – Court documents obtained by Operation Rescue show that the grand jury, which returned last week without indicting late-term abortionist George R. Tiller, drew conclusions that were at odds those of District Court Judge Richard Anderson.
Anderson oversaw former Attorney General Phill Kline’s investigation of Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services abortion clinic. After a three-year battle, WHCS was ordered to produce abortion records, with patient identity information redacted, that were reviewed by Anderson in 2006.
Those same records were provided to the grand jury by current Attorney General Steve Six on May 20, 2008, by order of the Kansas Supreme Court.
Last week, the grand jury issued the following statement through the office of District Attorney Nola Foulston:
The Court has further indicated that if a review of the relevant circumstances surrounding a woman’s pregnancy and subsequent abortion revealed no more than a reasonable medical debate over the condition of the patient and the threats posed to her by continuing her pregnancy to term, no crime has been committed by the performance of the abortion. [Emphasis added.]
The wording referred to a ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court, which issued guidelines in the Alpha Medical Clinic v. Kline case.
However, a brief filed after the Alpha case by Judge Anderson on November 28, 2006, in a mandamus action brought by WHCS against Kline and Anderson before the Kansas Supreme Court, Anderson stated the following:
The District Court has further determined that relevant information is contained in the medical files, which may constitute evidence of possible violations of law, and that the files document more than the existence of a reasonable medical debate about some aspect of the application of the criminal abortion and/or mandatory child abuse reporting statutes. [Emphasis added. Read entire brief.]
This evidence was also reviewed by Sedgwick County District Court Judge Eric Yost on December 21, 2006, who ruled there was probable cause to believe that Tiller had committed crimes.
“It seems odd that the grand jury could look at the same abortion records and come to a completely opposite conclusion than that of two District Court judges who are experts in the law,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
“Did the grand jury even bother to interview Judge Anderson, Judge Yost, or former Attorney General Phill Kline, the three people who had the best knowledge of the evidence and expertise in the appropriate application of the law?” asked Newman. “Or were their conclusions kept hidden from the grand jury, so that they would be easier to misdirect?”
“The person in the best position to adversely influence the investigation was Assistant District Attorney Ann Swegle, under the guidance of DA Nola Foulston,” said Newman. “This grand jury did nothing but add to the suspicions that Tiller is being protected by political favors. There is definitely something ‘rotten in Denmark’ and the scent trail continues to lead us back to Foulston’s office.”