David Daleiden outside Superior Court in San Francisco, California, Feb. 11 2019
SAN FRANCISCO, California, June 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) - David Daleiden, the undercover journalist who released videos four years ago exposing Planned Parenthood's illegal involvement in harvesting and selling aborted baby body parts, will have to pay an almost $200,000 fine for releasing the undercover videos that exposed the abortion giant's horrific activities.
The liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused this week to consider a request by Daleiden to overturn a $195,000 contempt charge levied against him by District Judge William Orrick III in 2017.
Daleiden has started a GoFundMe page for help paying the fine, which he calls "unjust." So far, supporters have donated $40,000 in a matter of 24 hours.
"I need your help to replace the $195,000 that Judge Orrick unjustly fined us to try to shield his friends at Planned Parenthood from public scrutiny," Daleiden wrote on this fundraising page.
"Every day, I am still working to document and expose the unethical and illegal commercial exploitation of our unborn brothers and sisters," he wrote, adding: "I can't do this without you. Thank you for all of your support so far and please help me with any amount you can."
Orrick originally issued the fine after the pro-life journalist's legal team purportedly violated a gag order he placed on Daleiden's videos. Orrick, who has ties to the abortion industry, is currently presiding over the two civil cases brought against Daleiden's Center for Medical Progress (CMP) by Planned Parenthood (PP) and the National Abortion Federation (NAF).
Daleiden has spent the last four years in and out of court rooms fighting various lawsuits, including a 15-count felony prosecution by the State of California that's set to resume in September. Since the release of Daleiden's videos in 2015, courts have continually refused requests from his attorneys to throw out the charges he's facing and to have Orrick taken off the case.
Thomas More Society Special Counsel Sarah Pitlyk, who serves on Daleiden's defense team, rebuked the Ninth Circuit's decision and called the $195,000 fine "an exorbitant penalty for doing nothing other than trying to defend him against baseless, politically motivated criminal charges." She also called it a "travesty" that his lawyers cannot use his videos in his own defense.
Pitlyk said that the Ninth Circuit "misread the district court order."
"It saw things in it that weren't there and overlooked things that were, with the unhappy consequence of upholding two injustices to our client," she said.
"First, Mr. Daleiden and his criminal defense counsel remain subject to an exorbitant penalty for doing nothing other than trying to defend him against baseless, politically motivated criminal charges," Pitlyk explained. "Even worse than that," she added, "the Ninth Circuit also essentially ratified the federal court's improper interference in Mr. Daleiden's state criminal case, tying the defense's hands going forward."
The Thomas More Society explained in a press release that Orrick "issued the gag order at the request of the National Abortion Federation in a civil lawsuit the abortion lobby brought against Daleiden in federal court. However, the judicially banned video footage provides key evidence for Daleiden's defense in his criminal prosecution by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has been closely allied with, and politically supported by, Planned Parenthood."
"Holding Mr. Daleiden and his defense counsel in contempt under these circumstances flies in the face of the Sixth Amendment and fundamental principles of fairness. This is not how the criminal justice system is supposed to work," said Pitlyk.