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GOP chairman won’t call Planned Parenthood videomaker to testify
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee did not invite the creator of the secretly recorded Planned Parenthood videos to testify at Tuesday’s hearing, ignoring repeated calls from Democrats.
The House Oversight Committee will hold its first hearing on Planned Parenthood Tuesday, marking the first time that an official from Planned Parenthood will testify since it was hurled into the national spotlight in July.
The committee did not invite the man behind the videos, David Daleiden, a spokeswoman for Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) confirmed Monday.
“Ms. Richards is the only witness tomorrow,” committee spokeswoman M.J. Henshaw said, referring to Planned Parenthood President and CEO Cecile Richards.
The 18 Democrats on the committee, led by ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), have twice asked Chaffetz to bring in Daleiden to appear alongside the Planned Parenthood official.
Neither letter received a response, according to a Democratic committee aide.
When Chaffetz did not respond to the Democrats’ first letter two weeks ago, Cummings wrote again last week and asked him to subpoena Daleiden’s testimony to ensure a fair hearing.
“It is unclear why the Committee would take a different approach in this case than Republicans have taken in previous cases. The Republican position on this question has been that witnesses must be compelled by subpoena to appear-in person-in order to assert their Fifth Amendment rights on the record,” Cummings wrote in a letter Friday.
Cummings, joined by many Democrats in Congress, has accused Daleiden of illegal activity during the filming of his videos — something they have urged the Department of Justice to investigate.
Daleiden, the 26-year-old founder of The Center for Medical Progress, has become an increasingly public figure in the anti-abortion movement.
He received a rock-star reception during the Values Voter Summit on Friday. He will also appear on conservative commentator Glenn Beck’s talk show on Monday, one day before the highly anticipated hearing.
M.J. Henshaw, the committee’s GOP spokeswoman, said the committee may decide to hold future hearings pending the committee’s request to receive the full footage released by The Center for Medical Progress, which is currently in court.
“We subpoenaed the videos and I think we wanted to see the videos first and gather more information,” Henshaw said.
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