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Sept. 13, 2019, 11:20 AM EST update: California DOJ special agent Brian Cardwell changed his story in a September 12 testimony at the preliminary hearing of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. He said September 10 the letter was from Obama A-G Loretta Lynch to California A-G Kamala Harris asking for an investigation into the two pr0-life journalists. On September 12, he said the letter was from four congresspeople to both Lynch and Harris. See report here.
Sept. 12, 2019, 10:22 AM EST update: Cardwell's testimony continues Thursday, not Wednesday as LifeSiteNews initially reported.
SAN FRANCISCO, California, September 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch requested the investigation of pro-life undercover journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in baby body parts, a California Department of Justice agent testified Tuesday.
Special agent Brian Cardwell said Lynch sent a letter to California Attorney General Kamala Harris asking that David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress be investigated.
Cardwell was present at the April 6, 2015 raid of Daleiden’s Orange County apartment under a search warrant Harris authorized, he said at the criminal preliminary hearing Tuesday for Daleiden and Merritt.
The raid and search authorized by Harris, now a U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential contender, launched the current prosecution against Daleiden and Merritt.
The two pro-life undercover journalists are charged with 15 felony counts of illegal taping of confidential conversations in connection with undercover videos they released in 2015.
The groundbreaking undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood executives and workers haggling over the prices of baby body parts, picking through bloodied arms and legs of aborted babies in a pie tray, and discussing how to alter abortion methods to obtain better body parts for sale.
“We’ve always said it was a political prosecution, but hearing that Loretta Lynch was the one that instigated it, that’s a huge, huge factor,” Peter Breen, one of the lawyers representing Daleiden, told LifeSiteNews.
Cardwell also testified under cross-examination by Brentwood Ferreira, lawyer for Daleiden, that Beth Parker, the chief lawyer for Planned Parenthood in California, urged the Department of Justice agents to seize Daleiden’s documents and recording equipment.
“We’ve talked earlier during this case about a meeting that the heads of Planned Parenthoods had, with Kamala Harris in her office right around the time that Attorney General Harris was approving a search warrant [on] David’s apartment,” Breen, vice president and senior counsel of the Thomas More Society, told LifeSiteNews.
“Something stinks here in San Francisco and it’s political and goes to the highest levels,” Breen added.
Cardwell mentioned the letter from Lynch when Deputy Attorney-General Johnette Jauron asked him about the initiation of the criminal investigation into Daleiden and Merritt’s undercover operation.
“I believe there was a letter sent by Loretta Lynch to Kamala Haris requesting an investigation,” he said.
Ferreira cross-examined Cardwell on the letter because the defence had not received a copy of it from the attorney general “so I thought he was mistaken,” Ferreira told LifeSiteNews.
Cardwell said he saw the letter in January, when the attorney general’s office provided a copy for the record.
“As far as I’m concerned, Harris probably solicited the letter anyway to take heat off Planned Parenthood,” Ferreira told LifeSiteNews, “because Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation were the true engines of this prosecution.”
Planned Parenthood lawyer Parker “brought all this stuff over to Jill Habig who was political assistant to Kamala Harris,” he said.
The criminal prosecution of Daleiden “is a complete violation of the First Amendment,” Ferreira added.
Daleiden “made his living as a journalist for the last 11 years. He has the right to have his work protected under the First Amendment and not have bogus eavesdropping charges filed by the Attorney General … at the behest of Planned Parenthood.”
Cardwell said the agents seized several laptops, thumb drives, recording equipment, and hard drives that contained some 50,000 video files.
Cardwell’s testimony continues on Thursday.
Watch this special report where LifeSite Managing Editor Patrick Craine speaks with reporter Lianne Laurence who is on the ground in San Francisco covering the criminal case against pro-life investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt: