The House Oversight Committee has issued a subpoena for hundreds of hours of secretly recorded footage of Planned Parenthood and its partners as part of an ongoing investigation into the use of fetal tissue donations.
The panel announced legal action Tuesday to obtain footage from the Center for Medical Progress, which has been barred from releasing it because of a pending lawsuit by the National Abortion Federation.
The Center for Medical Progress has released 10 videos targeting Planned Parenthood since this summer. The most recent, which included hidden camera conversations with several Planned Parenthood officials, was released Tuesday.
But it has been stymied from releasing footage from a specific event with the National Abortion Federation, which the anti-abortion advocates entered without permission.
A federal judge in California ruled in July that the Center for Medical Progress could not release footage of the abortion providers because it put their members in harm's way. The National Abortion Federation, which represents abortion providers including those at Planned Parenthood clinics, was granted a temporary restraining order.
The Oversight Committee is now demanding access to “all unedited video footage in their possession relating to the acquisition, preparation, and sale of fetal tissue.”
The clock is ticking for Republicans to find evidence of wrongdoing against Planned Parenthood, which would bolster their effort to defund the group through this fall’s government spending bill. Lawmakers have less than week to come up with a spending strategy, and so far have turned up no proof of illegal activity.
Three House committees, including Oversight, are investigating Planned Parenthood at the request of Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerNetanyahu: 'No question' about Trump's support for Israel The Hill's 12:30 Report Boehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt MORE, who has said Congress needs facts before it can issue punishment against the provider.
Still, some Republicans have said they want to defund Planned Parenthood even if they never find proof of wrongdoing.
“I don’t know whether we’re ever going to be able to answer that question, whether it was illegal for them to do what they were doing,” Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) said during the House’s first hearing on the topic last week. "I don’t know if it was illegal … but it was immoral, what was seen on that video."
—This story was updated at 6:13 p.m.