December 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – He leaked shocking footage of abortionists discussing “cute” aborted baby organs and saying that “killing” is “the most important thing I could do with my life.” Now, he's facing legal proceedings.
Journalist Charles C. Johnson, the editor-in-chief of GotNews.com, posted 11 undercover videos recorded by the Center for Medical Progress on his website in October. The footage recorded presentations and discussions that took place at the National Abortion Federation's 38th annual meeting, held in San Francisco last April.
The NAF successfully petitioned a judge to issue a temporary restraining order preventing CMP from releasing the video footage in July. But in October, the same U.S. district judge, Wiliam H. Orrick III, allowed CMP to deliver all uncut Planned Parenthood video footage to Congress, to honor a subpoena issued by Rep. Jason Chaffetz for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. CMP also had to provide the footage to NAF.
After turning the material over to Congress, Charles Johnson received an e-mail he believed came from a Congressional staffer, allowing him and an internet hacker named Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer to obtain and post hours of subpoenaed video on YouTube.
“This material was turned over by Congressional whistleblowers not subject to the court order,” Auernheimer said.
Johnson and GotNews.com are not part of the TRO, either, and do not feel bound to abide by its terms. Blogger and law professor Eugene Volokh likened the case to Daniel Ellsberg's leaking the Pentagon Papers during the Nixon administration. Volokh wrote that, in his opinion, “The mere fact that Johnson's actions frustrate the purpose of the restraining order, or accomplish the center's political purposes, can't get Johnson covered under an injunction that was issued in a case against the center, not against Johnson.”
The NAF disagrees. It has hired the law firm Morrison and Foerster to demand Johnson reveal his sources. He says NAF “falsely accuses me of engaging in an elaborate conspiracy to circumvent a federal judge's temporary restraining order. They demand that I do a deposition, testifying and potentially exposing all of my sources.”
“The law firm wants GotNews.com to turn over all texts, emails with Daleiden. This is easy. There aren’t any,” he wrote.
His website later stated, “Johnson is unsure of how to comply with material that doesn’t exist.”
“GotNews.com will contest any unconstitutional prior restraint of speech all the way to the highest courts in the land,” Johnson promised.
But any legal representation will cost money. Johnson has opened a crowdfunding page on Generosity.com asking for donations to defray his legal expenses.
Regardless of your views of abortion, readers should support him, Johnson said.
“Even if you are not pro-life, this kind of court-mandated censorship of journalism should bother you as the precedent it sets,” he wrote. “You might even want support me if you disagree with me. The world needs journalists that push the boundaries of the First Amendment. We all become beneficiaries of free speech.”
But pro-life people owe him a particular debt of thanks, he said. “While many people talk about being pro-life, there are a few of us who will always fight the pro-life fight,” he wrote. “As a journalist with a commitment to truth, I cannot remain neutral when it comes to the murder of the unborn.”
Johnson's goal is $10,000. As of this writing, 23 people have donated $2,361.
You may make a donation here.