After 6 weeks of witness testimony full of shocking admissions by top Planned Parenthood officials, the plaintiffs and the defense laid to rest their case in a three-and-a-half-hour-long day of closing arguments.
- Harmeet Dhillon, defense attorney for CMP, Biomax, and David Daleiden, exposed in great detail the many “shortcuts” Planned Parenthood lawyers took in their attempt to convince the jury to “rubber stamp” their claims. These shortcuts, Dhillon stated, are fatal to Planned Parenthood’s case on alleged RICO, fraud, and breach of contract.
- During her closing statements, Dhillon summarized succinctly PP’s blame game, seen on the graphic below. Yet, the plaintiffs want CMP to pay for its own admitted screening and vetting deficiencies and subsequent upgrades.
- Attorney Paul Jonna, representing CMP undercover investigator Adrian Lopez, explained how his client, who is not a prolife activist, wanted to participate in CMP’s undercover investigation because the research he reviewed on Planned Parenthood’s participation in fetal trafficking was so troubling he thought it needed to be exposed.
- The last defense attorney to make his case on behalf of his client was Harry Mihet for CMP undercover investigator Sandra Merritt, was Harry Mihet. Mihet spoke with conviction and told the jury, “The same conscience that God placed inside of Sandra Merritt exists in each and every one of you.”
The jury has until Friday, November 15 to reach a verdict.
In the first of two days of closing arguments in Planned Parenthood’s retaliatory lawsuit against CMP, Judge Orrick read 105 pages of jury instructions, PPFA lawyers spent the better part of their three hours mischaracterizing evidence, and defense attorneys Peter Breen and Charles LiMandri delivered compelling arguments before the jury.
- PPFA’s lead trial counsel lied to the jury saying that CMP did not report Plaintiffs Planned Parenthood Orange & San Bernardino Counties or Planned Parenthood Mar Monte to law enforcement agencies in their respective jurisdictions. In fact, CMP had produced the reports to law enforcement in discovery in the case and Planned Parenthood has been aware of them for over a year.
- Defense attorney Breen delivered opening remarks for the defense, stating that CMP’s undercover work cut through a curtain of secrecy to expose crimes being committed by the Plaintiffs. Exposing those crimes required undercover work in order to surface information for the public.
- PPFA did not challenge the content of the videos, instead they chose to sue the messenger. Breen argued this is important because a ruling against CMP in essence is shutting down the flow of information for investigative reporting necessary for a free society.
- The Plaintiffs attempted to discredit Daleiden’s work by claiming Dean Alberty, one of the whistleblowers featured in ABC’s 20/20 investigation of fetal trafficking, lied to Congress in his sworn testimony in 2000. LiMandri set the record straight and underscored that Alberty never recanted his sworn Congressional testimony about witnessing infanticide in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Kansas while harvesting body parts.
- Trotter attempted to discredit Daleiden’s pre-undercover, comprehensive research by alleging some sources were inaccurate or outdated. LiMandri countered the Plaintiffs’ criticisms by citing CDC statistics, testimony from Advanced Bioscience Resources‘ Procurement Manager Perrin Larton and CEO Linda Tracy, and contemporary reports about fetal experimentation from scientific research journals.
- LiMandri played a clip of Gloria Feldt, PP president during ABC’s 20/20 investigation, in which Feldt states anyone who breaks the law by selling the body parts of aborted babies must be held accountable through investigation and prosecution under the law. He asked the jury to take Feldt at her word.
Closing arguments continue at 8 A.M. on Wednesday, November 13, in San Francisco Federal District Court at 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, in Courtroom 2 on Floor 17.
Today was the last day of witness and evidence presentations by both the Plaintiffs and the Defense in PPFA et al vs. CMP et al. Two witnesses testified for the defense, forensic accounting expert Paul Zimmer and security and law enforcement expert Jon Perkins, and then the Defense and Plaintiffs rested their cases.
- Paul Zimmer testified that Planned Parenthood’s “damages” claims against CMP for the cost of its own security upgrades lack a basic and foundational piece of information– the level of security expenditures Planned Parenthood had prior to the events at issue in the case. Zimmer testified that the completely absent historical baseline data prevents any forensic accountant from assessing damages accurately and honestly.
- Perkins, a well-respect security expert with clients including several Hollywood celebrities, called Planned Parenthood’s damages claims excessive and unnecessary. He testified that media exposure helps stop crimes in his experience.
- Perkins’ in-depth analysis concluded that Planned Parenthood and NAF failed to meet security industry standards in screening admittance for their events and facilities. He testified that if Planned Parenthood wanted to keep a certain set of known pro-life individuals out of their conferences, it should have screened new attendees against names and photos of the list it wanted to keep out. In fact, Planned Parenthood never even asked potential registrants if they were pro-life or pro-choice.
Closing arguments begin at 8 A.M. on Tuesday, November 12, in San Francisco Federal District Court at 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, in Courtroom 2 on Floor 17.
Day 16 featured damning admissions on the witness stand by Advanced Bioscience Resources Procurement Manager Perrin Larton and founder Linda Tracy, as well as other testimony, as Planned Parenthood’s civil trial against CMP entered its final days.
- The Defense cross-examined Kevin Paul, Plaintiff Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ general counsel, about the shell LLC that PPRM set up to pay for PPRM VP Savita Ginde’s rent anonymously. Planned Parenthood is suing CMP for using a subsidiary LLC, BioMax Procurement Services, to conduct the undercover investigation of fetal trafficking.
- The Defense called ABR Procurement Manager Perrin Larton to the witness stand. She testified that she does not recant any of the statements she made to David Daleiden about babies falling out intact for organ harvesting, and that ABR could receive intact fetuses as frequently as every couple months.
- ABR President Linda Tracy confirmed on the witness stand that her company harvests fetal organs and tissues from Plaintiff Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest, but Planned Parenthood objected to any other affiliates being named.
- Tracy contradicted herself multiple times on the witness stand when asked questions that could impact Planned Parenthood’s case. Tracy first tried to say that she didn’t discuss “pricing” of fetal tissue at NAF conferences, but then faced her videotaped deposition where she testified the opposite. Under oath and on the tape played in court, Tracy indicated her conversations at NAF included pricing of baby body parts. She further testified in her deposition that at NAF she discussed ABR’s “Regulated Tissue Acquisition” harvesting, for which researchers pay $6,000 per procurement. Tracy also equivocated and contradicted her deposition testimony that her conversations at NAF were not confidential.
- ABR’s Tracy also revealed that StemExpress Founder and CEO Cate Dyer stole business information from ABR to establish her rival fetal organ and tissue procurement company.
- Statistician Michael New, PhD testified to the “low quality” and unreliability of the National Abortion Federation’s statistics on crimes and harassment against abortion providers. NAF failed to provide sufficient documentation or corroboration to support the numbers reported.
Proceedings continue at 8 A.M. on Wednesday, November 6, in San Francisco Federal District Court at 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, in Courtroom 2 on Floor 17.
Day 15 of Planned Parenthood’s retaliatory lawsuit against CMP undercover investigators included testimony from a Planned Parenthood-hired accountant and PPFA’s Director of Events and Conferences, Brandon Minow, about the payout Planned Parenthood is seeking for upgrades to its own deficient conference screening and vetting:
- Greg Regan, a local CPA hired by Planned Parenthood Plaintiffs, testified that Planned Parenthood seeks $630,213 from CMP in the lawsuit to pay for updates to its deficient conference admission protocols. The vast majority of that money is fees to consulting firms, with $44,000 for media monitoring, $108,600 for reviewing PPFA’s vetting practices, $53,000 for security consulting, and $29,000 for guard services for events that CMP investigators didn’t attend.
- Regan testified that he is not a security expert and that his findings did not indicate whether the security updates were necessary or not. He also admitted that he had no knowledge of what kind of money Planned Parenthood was spending on security costs before the release of the undercover videos.
- PPFA’s Director of Events and Conferences Brandon Minow revealed PP holds approximately 80 events per year, including fundraisers and 30 or so conferences. Minow revealed most of PP’s events are held at hotels because they attempt to make the space “feel private in the middle of the hustle and bustle of hotel space.”
- Both Regan and Minow admitted that the reason Planned Parenthood felt it needed to upgrade its screening and vetting protocols was because the undercover videos made typical conference attendees feel uncertain about continuing to attend Planned Parenthood events. This is a clear example of loss of barred “repetitional harm” from the publication of the videos–a loss of consumer confidence resulting from the deficiencies exposed in Planned Parenthood’s conference protocols.
Proceedings continue at 8 A.M. on Tuesday, November 5, in San Francisco Federal District Court at 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, in Courtroom 2 on Floor 17.
On day 14 of Planned Parenthood’s retaliatory lawsuit against CMP undercover investigators, Plaintiff PPFA’s conference organizer, the National Abortion Federation’s Security Director, a Planned Parenthood-paid “expert”, and Plaintiff Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ in-house lawyer, each took the witness stand in San Francisco federal court.
- Vikky Graziani, PPFA’s former conference planner, revealed to defense attorney Harmeet Dhillon that she registered CMP’s undercover subsidiary BioMax Procurement Services, LLC to exhibit at PPFA’s North American Forum on Family Planning in Miami simply based on Dr. Deborah Nucatola’s recommendation. Graziani could not name any follow up vetting that she relied on to admit BioMax other than a conversation with Dr. Nucatola that she could not recall in detail.
- Graziani also called NAF’s vetting process and security procedures for Exhibitors the “gold standard.” When asked what she knew about the vetting process for Exhibitors like BioMax, Graziani testified she had no knowledge of NAF’s vetting process but that she thought “NAF security” was in charge of it.
- Graziani admitted that PPFA’s conference check-in staff were never trained to identify fake IDs when presenting name badges to conference goers, and that PPFA only told Exhibitors to show “ID”, not “government ID”.
- NAF’s Security Director Michelle Davidson testified that NAF is not a party to Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit. Yet, PPFA is suing CMP et al for alleged breach of NAF contracts.
- Davidson testified, contrary to Graziani’s assumptions, that NAF Security did not do vetting of Exhibitors at the NAF trade shows that BioMax attended. When asked about what guidance NAF Security gave to NAF Group Purchasing, who was in charge of admitting Exhibitors, Davidson admitted, “We didn’t talk about vetting. Like I said, that wasn’t part of my department’s duties.”
- Davidson also admitted that she did not train NAF Group Purchasing to check an ID, and that the changes NAF made to its security procedures for conferences after the undercover videos were an “upgrade”.
- Drexel University professor and lawyer David Cohen, who represents several Planned Parenthood affiliates and gave legal advice to Planned Parenthood leadership involved in the current lawsuit, testified as Planned Parenthood’s expert on “harassment” of abortion providers. Cohen admitted he supports no legal limits on abortion up to 9 months, and that his use of false statements and psuedonyms in one of his books is protected by the First Amendment.
- Plaintiff PPRM’s lawyer Kevin Paul testified that PPRM’s main office and megaclinic has a sign posted outside it putting the public on notice any conversations taking place on the grounds of the “campus” may be recorded.
Proceedings continue at 8 A.M. on Monday, November 4, in San Francisco Federal District Court at 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, in Courtroom 2 on Floor 17.
CMP project lead David Daleiden took the stand today for a fourth day after a weeklong break to finish his testimony about the trade in body parts from abortions.
- Defense attorneys Harmeet Dillon, Charles Limandri, and others, as well as Planned Parenthood lawyer Rhonda Trotter, questioned Daleiden for most of day 13 about the civil counts filed by PPFA against CMP et al:
§ Civil RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Conspiracy
§ Illegal Video Recording
§ Breach of Contract
- Dillon question Daleiden about a prominently displayed Planned Parenthood sign at PPFA’s National Conference in Washington, DC that put all attendees on notice of continuous video taping. The sign read: Planned Parenthood is photographing and/or recording this event and all attendees. By entering you agree to allow Planned Parenthood to take pictures and video of you and to use those images for any purpose, including advertising purposes, to promote the Planned Parenthood mission. If you have any concerns about this, please let our staff know or feel free to exit the premises.
- In response to LiMandri’s questioning about CMP’s purpose in the video releases, Daleiden explained at length that CMP always released the entire conversation so as not be accused of misrepresenting what was said. He also testified that no videos were spliced to make PP doctors or officials say anything they did not actually say.
- LiMandri asked Daleiden one last question, “Finally, are you proud of the work you did for CMP with this undercover investigation?” Daleiden responded, “Yes, I am.” When asked why, he gestured toward Planned Parenthood in the courtroom and replied, “Because we documented and exposed these Plaintiffs’ trafficking in fetal body parts.”
Proceedings continue at 8:00 A.M. on Friday, November 1, in San Francisco Federal District Court at 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, in Courtroom 2 on Floor 17.
David Daleiden took the stand for all of day 12 of the civil trial Planned Parenthood vs. CMP et al. His testimony provided insight into the months of research Daleiden conducted prior to any undercover work.
- Defense attorney Charles Limandri asked Daleiden about eye-witness accounts of babies born alive. In his explanation of what Perrin Larton, Procurement Manager for Plaintiff Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest business partner ABR, told him about her experiences harvesting fetal tissue, Daleiden said the following:
She (Larton) was describing a situation where she was specifically waiting for the abortion to finish so that she could procure the fetal organs and tissues afterwards. And she described being surprised that the patient was out of the operating room in three minutes, because that seemed like too short a time. And so she’s wondering, you know: Where’s my fetal tissue? Because I’m waiting here, and she’s gone in three minutes; what’s going on? And then the clinic told her: Well, the fetus was already in the vaginal canal; when we put her in the stirrups, it just fell out.
And so my understanding is that this — she was describing a harvesting case. A case where she was waiting for the fetus for harvesting. That would mean that the digoxin (a drug that kills the baby inside the womb) had not been used; the feticide could not be used because that would fill the fetus and spoil the organs before they could be harvested.
- Prior to going undercover, Daleiden consulted with stem cell research scientist Dr. Theresa Deisher. Dr. Deisher confirmed to Daleiden that a study from Stanford University that obtained fetal hearts from StemExpress and kept them Langendorff perfusion technique required the heart be beating at the time it was harvested from the aborted baby.
- Daleiden also testified that before launching CMP’s undercover investigation, he learned that Plaintiff Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s abortion provider Dr. Ronald Berman was simultaneously working as the Medical Director for StemExpress, while StemExpress was buying fetal tissue from PPMM.
- Defense attorney Harmeet Dhillon questioned Daleiden about the exhibit contracts from the National Abortion Federation trade shows. Planned Parenthood has made the NAF contracts central to their case, but the NAF contracts never mention Planned Parenthood as a party to the agreement, and are written as regulations for the order of trade show event, not ongoing proprietary secret agreements.
Proceedings continue at 8:00 A.M. on Thursday, October 31, in San Francisco Federal District Court at 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, in Courtroom 2 on Floor 17.
Planned Parenthood lawyer Rhoda Trotter continued her direct examination of David Daleiden in day 11 of the civil trial in San Francisco, attempting to develop a narrative that CMP investigators carelessly recorded everyone they came across in a desperate attempt to find evidence of crimes. However, this narrative attempt was based on gross departures from the facts to which Daleiden testified. The following exchanges are examples of what transpired today:
- After playing a video never before released by CMP but played by the Plaintiff’s during today’s proceedings the following exchange ensued:
Trotter: …You had no reason to believe that the person that we just saw in that video had committed any crime; correct?
Daleiden: No. This was a friendly conversation in public.
Trotter: But you taped her anyway?
Daleiden: I think — you know, I taped a friendly conversation that we had in public and, for the record, this is a video that I have never released. This is the first time that this video has ever been played, you know, by the plaintiffs publicly in this courtroom…
- In another exchange, Planned Parenthood counsel attempted to mischaracterize Daleiden’s words on a video tape:
Trotter: Mr. Daleiden, you would agree, would you not, that trying to find evidence of a crime at these various conferences was like trying to find a needle in a haystack?
Daleiden: No, I would not agree with that. There were quite a lot of conversations and admissions that the people that I spoke to at those conferences made that I think are very disturbing and that I — that needed to be reported.
Planned Parenthood played a 3-4 second clip in which Daleiden states “what we are trying to do” is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Trotter: Mr. Daleiden, that was you and Mr. Lopez having that discussion that we just saw; correct?
Daleiden: As I remember, that was me and Adrian talking about how difficult it was to find Dr. Laura Dalton at that meeting. Because Dr. Nucatola was trying to introduce her to us, but nobody could find her.
Trotter: And you used the words “it’s like finding a needle in a haystack what we’re trying to do;” correct?
Daleiden: In reference to trying to find somebody in an extremely crowded outdoor public area, someone trying to find someone that you never met before and didn’t know what they looked like.
- When Trotter concluded direct examination, she was followed by CMP counsel Charles LiMandri. LiMandri asked Daleiden what informed his decision to go undercover. Daleiden indicated this ABC 20/20 report on fetal body parts sales led him to believe another more extensive undercover investigation was necessary since nothing had been done since ABC’s segment first aired.
Proceedings continue at 8:00 A.M. on Wednesday, October 23, in San Francisco Federal District Court at 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, in Courtroom 2 on Floor 17.
PPFA CAPS Director Jen Castle, Director of Medical Standards June Gupta, and CMP’s David Daleiden took the stand today. Daleiden was brought to the stand by Planned Parenthood in what will likely be several days of testimony and cross examination.
- Both Castle and Gupta testified that Planned Parenthood did not get permission from them to bring the lawsuit against CMP et al on their behalf.
- Defense attorney Paul Jonna asked PPFA’s Director of Medical Standards June Gupta in cross examination whether she was concerned by comments made by PPFA’s Dr. Deborah Nucatola and PPOSBC’s Dr. Jennefer Russo discussing the change of medical procedures to harvest more intact fetal body parts, Gupta stated she was not concerned.
- Gupta also revealed Nucatola directed her to connect StemExpress and to other PP affiliates for potential business partnerships.
- PP attorney Rhonda Trotter began questioning David Daleiden mid-morning. Most of Trotter’s questions were related to CMP and Biomax founding documents as well as Daleiden’s Human Capital Project, the undercover baby body parts trafficking investigation.
- Trotter attempted to elicit an answer from Daleiden as to whether or not Biomax would ever carry out its supposed business purpose to procure baby body parts. Daleiden said ultimately there was no ethical and legal justification for Biomax to do so.
- Disturbed by what he saw during his investigation, Daleiden testified to having held aborted baby body parts in his hands while visiting both Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Texas and Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
The proceedings continue at 8 A.M. on Tuesday, October 22, in San Francisco Federal District Court at 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, in Courtroom 2 on Floor 17.