Peter J. Smith

Phill Kline ethics trial adjourns for now: battle has cost him $200,000 says Kline

Peter J. Smith
Peter J. Smith

TOPEKA, Kansas, March 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The eight-day ethics trial against Phill Kline, the former Kansas attorney general and the only U.S. prosecutor to file criminal charges against Planned Parenthood, came to a conclusion this afternoon – but not before testimony detailed how the judicial system had been reworked against Kline in favor of the abortion clinics that he had targeted as part of a broad criminal investigation.

However, Wednesday only marked the end of part one of the Kline ethics trial. Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, reporting to LifeSiteNews.com from Topeka, said the second part will begin in several months. She said that while the case for Count I against Kline is over, the hearing for Count II will begin on July 19. Disciplinary Administrator Stan Hazlett will argue that Kline acted prejudiced in the administration of justice (Count II).

Each side will have a day and a half to argue their case, with closing arguments on the fourth day.

Motion to dismiss ethics charges

Stanek said that Kline’s attorneys filed a 148-page motion to dismiss the charges against him Tuesday afternoon. Hazlett will have until April 4 to respond to that motion. Kline’s attorneys will then have until April 18 to reply to Hazlett’s response.

The disciplinary panel will then make a judgment whether to dismiss the charges or continue proceeding with the trial.

Expert witness affirms Kline’s investigative tactics, delay of abortion file transfer

Although Kline was given less than a day to make a positive defense against Hazlett’s Count I charges of ethical misconduct, Stanek said he had enough time to call to the stand an expert witness who affirmed that the tactics Kline used throughout the investigation of Planned Parenthood and George Tiller were sound and routine in law enforcement investigations.

Tom Stanton, an investigator and ethics professor at Kansas University, testified that all of Phill Kline and his AG office’s actions in obtaining information from Social and Rehabilitative Services were ethical. He emphasized that Kline’s omitting to tell state agencies the full scope of his investigation was not a lie. But even so, Stanton added that it is entirely ethical for investigators to deceive, because the goal is not to let the target know what is going on.

“Police can actually lie to suspects, and not share the nature of the investigation with anyone,” Stanton said, as reported by Stanek.

Kline also faces charges of ethics violations in part because files relating to his criminal investigation of the abortion clinics were stored at an apartment for a month, until February 2007. However, Stanton testified on the stand that he agreed with the assessment of Tom Williams, Kline’s chief investigator, that the Johnson County District Attorney’s office was not secured. Williams had later moved the files after he deemed the office secure enough to safely store the files in the evidence room.

Stanton said conversations with Linda Carter, AG Paul Morrison’s former secretary and paramour at the DA’s office, confirmed the view that the office was not secure when Kline transitioned into Morrison’s former job.  He said Morrison had so poisoned the Johnson County DA’s office that attorneys were branded as “traitors” simply for working with Kline.

Illustrating the one-sidedness of the hostility, however, Stanton recounted that Kline had made overtures of good will to Morrison, and sent him a letter giving him information Morrison had requested and offering to help. Stanton said Morrison’s response to Kline’s letter was “thanks, but no thanks.”

Supreme Court order may have put key information in abortion clinics’ hands

On the final day of the proceedings Kline also testified that the Kansas Supreme Court had compelled him to hand everything and anything his criminal investigation gathered on abortion clinics to his successor as attorney general, Paul Morrison.

But according to Kline the information then may have then been handed over to Planned Parenthood and abortionist George Tiller. “I’ve been told all that information was then turned over to attorneys for abortion clinics,” Kline testified.

He also testified that the Kansas Supreme Court order did not stop at the targets of Kline’s investigation, i.e. Comprehensive Health Planned Parenthood (CHPP) in Johnson County and Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic in Wichita.

Stanek told LifeSiteNews.com that the high court’s order was so broad in scope, Kline had to hand over to Morrison prosecutors’ evidence given him that pertained to other abortion clinics under investigation. This included personal information, civil cases by child rape victims against Planned Parenthood in Ohio (for their failure to report child rape), and even information from Planned Parenthood employees, who had come forward from other clinics around the country.

Morrison had declared in May 2007 that he was clearing Planned Parenthood of criminal wrongdoing. However, when Kline took over Morrison’s position as DA of Johnson County, he continued his criminal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s failure to report child rape and conspiracy to commit illegal late-term abortions.

Morrison then joined with Planned Parenthood in a legal action against Kline to deprive him (as well as Judge Richard Anderson) of redacted copies of the medical records. That evidence formed the basis of the 107 criminal counts (including 23 felonies), which CHPP still faces today.  While Morrison did not succeed in stopping Kline from filing the case, the legal action created a delay that ensured that Kline was not able to prosecute the case before leaving office in January 2009.

Only two years later, has the criminal case against CHPP begun to move forward again.

Phill Kline: Legal battles have cost me $200,000

Stanek said that at the end of the day Kline resumed the stand, and testified that Morrison had denied him legal representation, even though he was being sued by abortion clinics for his actions in his public capacity as AG.

Kline said that he was forced to obtain private counsel, which has cost him $200,000 in legal fees. He said these legal costs have never been reimbursed by the state.

LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Kline at the conclusion of the day, and asked what he hoped would be the outcome of his trial.

“My hope and prayer is that the truth, which I believe was revealed in that hearing panel, comes out,” said Kline.

Kline also said that he hoped the Kansas legislature would take a renewed look at his investigation into the victims of child rape, unreported by abortion providers, “and that those in the executive branch of government might be willing to take a look and determine what needs to be done to ensure that appropriate investigations like ours move forward without undue interference.”

See the complete list of LSN stories by Peter Smith on the Kline trial:

* 107-count criminal case begins against Planned Parenthood in Kansas
* Phill Kline ethics trial: Day 1 – Live update
* Kansas abortionists failed to report 166 potential cases of child rape: Phill Kline trial day 2
* Phill Kline attorney makes witness sweat in Planned Parenthood ethics complaint case
* DA’s diary snatching brings new twist to Phill Kline ethics trial, potential crime
* Kansas Travesty: 249 child-age abortions over 3 years, just four sex abuse reports: Kline Hearings
* Kansas judge testifies ‘probable cause’ existed to investigate criminal PP activity: Kline Hearings
* Kline did not violate judge’s order in secret Planned Parenthood case: judge’s legal counsel
* Planned Parenthood gambit: beat Phill Kline charges, defeat Live Action?
* Former Tiller attorney combed CD of sensitive records from Kline investigation 
* The Phill Kline saga: Planned Parenthood protected, children forgotten, the prosecutor prosecuted
* Day 6 trial: Kline protected sexual assault victim privacy, Tiller compromised patient privacy
* Video: Kline says ‘those in power’ blocked Planned Parenthood, Tiller investigation
* Witness: Phill Kline didn’t need/want adult patient names
* Prosecutor tells investigator: we don’t have to accept report clearing Phill Kline
* UPDATE: Kline tells ethics panel, ‘You are violating my due process rights!’
* ‘It is wrong!’: Phill Kline blocked from presenting full defense, calling all witnesses
* Phill Kline: Kansas Supreme Court ‘obstructed’ child rape investigation to save Planned Parenthood

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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