Photo of Sandra Merritt that was
on the altered California driver license

Sandra Merritt was David Daleiden’s co-conspirator in attempting to frame Planned Parenthood for illegally trafficing in human tissue. Planned Parenthood was cleared while Sandra Merritt was charged with tampering with a government record (a driver license) which is a second-degree felony. She was using the name Susan Tennenbaum. Daleiden (who was also charged) is being represented by the Thomas More Society.  Merritt ended up with Liberty Counsel which is also representing her in the civil action. Liberty Counsel is an anti-gay hate group that has a propensity for losing cases. Their last high profile defendant, Kim Davis, ended up in the clink.

According to Mat Staver, head of Liberty Counsel, the Harris County DA’s office is inept and corrupt. None of this serves as evidence that Merritt did not tamper with a government record. It’s just the beginning of the noise that has the dual purpose of contaminating a jury pool and raising funds for Liberty Counsel:

Additional evidence is surfacing that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office tasked with investigating Planned Parenthood has financial and personal biases towards abortion providers in Texas. District Attorney Devon Anderson led a grand jury who failed to convict an abortionist after multiple eye witnesses testified that he frequently murdered babies after they were born alive. One person described how a baby grabbed the finger of abortionist Douglas Karpen before he killed the infant. Afterwards, the attorney for abortionist Karpen donated more than $25,000 to Anderson’s reelection campaign. This history makes one question whether Anderson or her office withheld information from the grand jury regarding the actions of Dr. Karpen.

First of all, as Staver knows, grand juries don’t convict anyone of anything. The fact that the lawyer of the target of a grand jury investigation donated to the DA’s campaign is meaningless. The notion that this was some sort of quid pro quo is libelous. No question surfaces from this allegation.

What does any of that have to do with the charges against Ms. Merritt?

And the droppings continue:

The District Attorney’s office also has to explain having an assistant district attorney, Lauren Reeder, on the payroll who is also listed in tax records as a “Director” of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. Reeder is listed on a 990 Tax Form for 2014 . Reeder is also pictured on Planned Parenthood’s Facebook wearing a revealing tank top and hot pants at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. While the District Attorney stated that Reeder was screened from the Planned Parenthood investigation, the history and actions of the office raise serious questions about bias. Instead of indicting Planned Parenthood, the grand jury indicted David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.

No they do not have to explain. We know about this because Ms. Reeder outed herself in order to ensure that she had no responsibilities for this case. The woman is one of 300 lawyers in the office. Somehow Staver’s Puritanical disapproval of Ms. Reeder’s attire is relevant? Really? Staver is shameless.

What does any of that have to do with the charges against Ms. Merritt?

Liberty Counsel is proud to defend Sandra “Susan” Merritt, who was indicted for allegedly “tampering with governmental record” (a driver’s license) “with intent to defraud and harm” Planned Parenthood. The grand jury was ostensibly opened to investigate Planned Parenthood. However, recent reports suggest the grand jury was never asked to vote on whether to indict Planned Parenthood. …

Again, this is all irrelevant. It is a felony to alter a driver license to deceive others. Regardless of the outcome of the probe into Planned Parenthood this woman allegedly committed a felony.

Liberty Counsel is also defending Sandra Merritt against a Planned Parenthood lawsuit in San Francisco that claims her connection to undercover videos, exposing the organization’s gruesome trade in baby body parts, was a violation of the federal “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations” or “RICO” statute, which was created to fight drug trafficking and the mafia.

I’m sure that Liberty Counsel will have its collective hands out shortly. I am wondering what the point of this litigation is. It is expensive and Merritt presumably has limited assets. Making a point not to fuck with Planned Parenthood? Staver continues:

“We are looking forward to investigating the situation in Houston, and we will seek justice for our client. The indictment against Sandra Merritt is outrageous,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “There is a history of bias in the DA’s office involving abortion doctors and Planned Parenthood. …

There won’t be an investigation and there is no “history of bias.” Staver makes this stuff up as he goes along. He believes his own bullshit. Moreover, this case has nothing to do with abortion. Knowing Staver he is going to try to get this in front of a jury rather than pleading out. A judge is going to preclude all of this hot air as irrelevant. Then Staver can claim that he and his client were victimized by an activist judge. The elements of this case seem to be pretty simple:

  1. Can the state prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Ms. Merritt altered her driver license?
  2. Did you then use it to deceive others?
  3. If the state prevails then what is the penalty?

According to Planned Parenthood: “To date, officials in 11 states have concluded investigations into claims that Planned Parenthood profited from fetal tissue donation, and each one has cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing. Another eight states have declined to even investigate, citing a lack of any evidence to suggest wrongdoing.”

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.