It’s official! After a month of speculation following a request by the FBI for unredacted documents pertaining to a Congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood, Justice Department officials have now confirmed that they are officially investigating Planned Parenthood’s practices concerning the sale of fetal tissue.
Just a month after the FBI requested unredacted documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee that investigated Planned Parenthood last year, Fox News obtained a letter sent by Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd requesting documents from the Committee. This letter was requested by Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who wanted assurance that the documents would only be used for investigative purposes.
The sending of this letter is a rare confirmation by the Justice Department of a federal investigation, Fox reports.
In the letter, Boyd wrote: “The Department of Justice appreciates the offer of assistance in obtaining these materials, and would like to request the Committee provide unredacted copies of records contained in the report, in order to further the Department’s ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of that report based on the full range of information available.”
He went on to confirm that the records would be used for investigative use only and that “we understand that a resolution from the Senate may be required if the Department were to use any of the unredacted materials in a formal legal proceeding, such as a grand jury.”
The investigation comes in the wake of the Senate committee’s final report, entitled “Human Fetal Tissue Research: Context and Controversy” published last December in which Grassley referred Planned Parenthood and other providers to the FBI for investigation.
At the time, Grassley said there was enough evidence to show how abortion providers transferred fetal tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses for research by charging amounts higher than they actually cost, which is against the law.
The now-federal investigation comes after a 2015 undercover investigation by prolife activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt who posed as researchers and secretly recorded dozens of undercover videos of abortion industry workers bartering over aborted baby parts. The films shocked the nation but were dismissed by Planned Parenthood and other providers as being “doctored” – even though there is no evidence to support those claims.
“Over two years ago, citizen journalists at The Center for Medical Progress first caught Planned Parenthood’s top abortion doctors in a series of undercover videos callously and flippantly negotiating the sale of tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains,” wrote David Daleiden in a statement issued yesterday. “It is time for public officials to finally hold Planned Parenthood and their criminal abortion enterprise accountable under the law.”
As expected, prolife leaders, such as Lila Rose of LiveAction, are cheering the news.
“We applaud any action by the DOJ to follow the evidence where it leads,” Rose told the Daily Beast. “And the Senate Judiciary report reveals substantial evidence suggesting Planned Parenthood profits from the sale of baby body parts. Taxpayers should not be forced to fund a corporation that commits over 320,000 abortions every year and is now under investigation by the Justice Department and FBI for the sale of baby body parts.”
“I think it’s fantastic, and I think the House and Senate should follow up by defunding Planned Parenthood,” said Tom McClusky, vice president of government affairs at the March for Life. “There’s no way taxpayer funds should be going to an organization under investigation like this.”
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