Interview with Senior Counsel Paul Jonna, Originally Published in The Wanderer
By DEXTER DUGGAN
PHOENIX — “It is definitely very encouraging, and it’s great news” that 20 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief with the U. S. Supreme Court to oppose the gag order against videos by prolife investigators, an official with one of the law firms representing David Daleiden and the California-based Center for Medical Progress (CMP) told The Wanderer.
This pro-life citizen journalism exposing traffic in baby organs has been under withering attack by San Francisco pro-abortion federal Judge William Orrick III, nominated by previous President Barack Obama, a pro-abortion radical. Orrick had bundled donations for Obama.
In July 2015 The Federalist website reported that Orrick was “a major donor to and bundler for President Obama’s presidential campaign. He raised at least $ 200,000 for Obama and donated $ 30,800 to committees supporting him, according to Public Citizen.”
Paul Jonna, vice president of the Southern California-based Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, told The Wanderer that Daleiden ” didn’t do anything illegal. . . . He exposed Planned Parenthood, and that’s why he’s being attacked. . . . All he did was expose Planned Parenthood.”
The CMP videos, which began to be released in summer 2015, “really sparked the national debate in ways we haven’t seen for a while,” Jonna said.
The videos came under furious, phony attacks by dominant media including the appalling New York Times that didn’t want the public to be aware of abortionists filling procurers’ orders for specific body parts including babies’ heads, hearts, lungs, brains, kidneys, spines, eyes, gonads, and limbs.
No decent human being could tolerate this horror. The incomprehensible New York Times, fiercely determined that the horror must continue and grow, does all it can to keep it concealed.
Arizona’s attorney general, Republican Mark Brnovich, originated the proposal for the amicus brief to the Supreme Court against the gag order then sought support from other states’ attorneys general.
As September 7 news release from Brnovich’s office, here in Phoenix, said: “The attorneys general argue the Ninth Circuit’s decision to block the release of certain undercover videos to law enforcement sets a dangerous precedent that could hamper law enforcement’s ability to effectively receive and investigate possible civil and criminal wrongdoing.
“If the decision were to stand, everyday law enforcement investigations could be restricted if involved parties signed a contractual disclosure agreement, and this would empower wrongdoers to shroud their actions and communications,” the news release added.
“Ultimately, well-meaning whistleblowers attempting to report suspected criminal activity could be barred from communicating with law enforcement under the threat of court-enforced injunctions and costly legal proceedings,” it said.
An August 3 statement from Daleiden and the CMP said that “no federal court has ever upheld a prior restraint like Judge Orrick’s gag order to suppress speech of overwhelming public interest,” the procurement and sale of aborted babies’ body parts.
Daleiden said, “Judge Orrick’s gag order, issued at the behest of Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation, is an unprecedented attack on the First Amendment by a clearly biased federal judge.”
Brnovich’s news release also said: “The attorneys general warn the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision would adversely affect the early stages of investigations where law enforcement is best positioned to determine the truth and obtain evidence before the potential target might take evasive actions such as destroying records, hiding assets, and influencing witnesses.”
With the attorneys general warning that the Ninth Circuit’s support for Orrick “failed to adhere to established Supreme Court law,” the news release said: “As the chief legal officers for their respective states, attorneys general routinely receive confidential tips and complaints from whistleblowers, victims, and others. Attorneys general rely upon their subpoena power and requests for voluntary information to carry out criminal and civil investigations.
“By imposing a host of contract based prior restraints on communications with investigators, the Ninth Circuit’s decision sets a precedent that will harm law enforcement’s ability to gather information that can be crucial to protecting the public,” the release said.
Arizona was joined in the amicus brief by Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Orrick also slapped Daleiden and two attorneys working with him with nearly $200,000 in sanctions because the attorneys had a YouTube link in a filing “that would take you to various videos,” Jonna told The Wanderer.
“First of all,” Jonna said, “we don’t think anyone did anything wrong . . . but the judge didn’t agree with them.”
Jonna said the sanctions are being appealed and are “absolutely” of an “excessive and coercive nature.”
There also is a motion pending to disqualify Orrick in two of the cases because of his ongoing relationship with a “resource center . . . where he helped open a Planned Parenthood clinic,” Jonna said.
Orrick’s wife also is a pro-abortion activist. LifeSiteNews.com reported on June 9: “Another cause for CMP’s concern is Mrs. Orrick ‘liked a Facebook post by “Keep America Pro-Choice” that applauded Mr. Daleiden being indicted in Texas.’ It, and the ‘like’ of the NARAL post, ‘were juxtaposed with a profile photo featuring Judge Orrick and Mrs. Orrick’.”
On another issue, Jonna recalled that a congressional panel made recommendations less than a year ago after investigating the traffic in baby parts, but the Department of Justice has yet to act.
“We were hoping that a Republican would take over the White House” in the November 2016 election, thus putting the Department of Justice in different hands, Jonna said, but still are “waiting patiently” for the DOJ to take action.
In a final report issued January 4, one of the members of the U. S. House Select Investigative Panel, Cong. Diane Black (R., Tenn.), said the panel’s “relentless fact-finding investigation has laid bare the grisly reality of an abortion industry that is driven by profit, unconcerned by matters of basic ethics and, too often, noncompliant with the few laws we have to protect the safety of women and their unborn children.
“I have never shied away from my own pro-life views, but the findings of this panel should incense all people of conscience,” she said.
The panel’s chairwoman, Cong. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.), said, “It is my hope that our recommendations will result in some necessary changes within both the abortion and fetal tissue-procurement industries. Our hope is that these changes will both protect women and their unborn children, as well as the integrity of scientific research.”
The Biggest Hypocrisy
Jonna said the panel made 15 criminal and regulatory referrals to federal, state, and local authorities.
Citizen-journalists often are applauded for their efforts to inform the public, Jonna told The Wanderer, but Daleiden and the CMP are the victims of “the biggest hypocrisy you’ll ever see.”
The videos were “taken in public places,” he said, and there “was no expectation of confidentiality.”
Arizona’s conservative attorney general, Brnovich, also made a splash in the news on a different issue when he took on the exploding expenses of the state’s public higher education.
In a September 8 news release, Brnovich announced a lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) “for dramatically and unconstitutionally increasing the price of base tuition and mandatory fees at Arizona’s public universities by more than 300 percent since 2003. . . .
“Every Arizonan dreams of being able to send their kids to college,” Brnovich said. However, “Within the last 15 years, Arizona went from having some of the most affordable public universities to having some of the most expensive. We believe the Board of Regents needs to be held accountable and answer tough questions for Arizona’s skyrocketing tuition rates.”
The suit also addresses the regents violating state law against subsidies for illegal immigrants.
“Intertwined with these price hikes,” the news release said, ” ABOR has also refused to comply with Arizona law prohibiting state subsidies for students ‘ without lawful immigration status.’ ABOR is causing the illegal expenditure of public monies and the failure to collect tuition in direct contravention of clear and established Arizona law.”