Dept. of Justice investigating Planned Parenthood and others’ involvement in the sale of fetal tissue

Department of Justice

By Dave Andrusko

There we were last night watching Fox News when we learned Fox News had obtained a letter sent by Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd to the Senate Judiciary Committee formally requested unredacted documents from the Committee supporting a December 2016 report titled “Human Fetal Tissue Research.”

As NRL News Today reported in 2016, following an exhaustive investigation Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley [R.-Iowa] referred Planned Parenthood and other

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)

providers to the FBI for investigation. As Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Jake Gibson wrote 

Grassley said at the time that the committee has discovered enough evidence that shows how abortion providers had transferred fetal tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses for research by charging amounts higher than they actually cost.

“The report documents the failure of the Department of Justice, across multiple administrations, to enforce the law that bans the buying and selling of human fetal tissue,” Grassley wrote last December urging the Justice Department and FBI to investigate. “It also documents substantial evidence suggesting that the specific entities involved in the recent controversy, and/or individuals employed by those entities, may have violated that law.”

In the letter, sent to Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein [D-Ca.] Boyd noted that Grassley had volunteered to provide unredacted documents from the investigation if they were needed “in order to further investigate these matters.”

“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.

“At this point, the records are intended for investigative use only—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.”

Sources told Fox News that in order to release unredacted materials, Grassley and Feinstein said they needed to receive a letter and be assured the documents would be used for investigative purposes.

Investigations in both the House and Senate were spurred by undercover videos taken by the Center for Medical Progress. The CMP responded to the news about the Justice Department request with this statement:

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. …It is time for public officials to finally hold Planned Parenthood and their criminal abortion enterprise accountable under the law.