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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  April 22, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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customer. these are violations. our democratic colleagues voiced concerns over privacy throughout the investigation. i would hope they would join us in condemning obvious violations which were signed into law by president clinton on augus august 211996. the fourth chart summarizes several sample payments from the procurement business to the abortion clinic and from the customer to the procurement business. these are just samples for the discussion today. they do not
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please turn to the exhibits beginning with the two. this is the procurement company brochure handed out at national conferences where abortion clinic managers were in attendance. notice it says financially profitable. fiscally rewarding. financial benefit to your clinic. look at exhibit b3. which is a website grew grab of the procurement business. once again, financially profitable. while also providing a financial benefit to your own plenty. evidently the procurement business is not familiar with the waxman prohibition. turn the page and look at exhibits before and five. the procurement business target in 2010 with three clinics in two years it was up to 30 and in 30 years it had nearly 100.
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further, they were negotiating a contract to have over 250 clinics by this year. but the comarketing negotiations with the national abortion trade organization fell apart just about the time the videos came out last year. you do not have to be a lawyer to see what's going on here. you put up a website that offers the parts imaginable and why on earth would anybody ever need a baby scalp? then you pick the gestation period and you check out. to offer that service: you need abortionclinics. a lot of abortion clinics. so you grow your number of clinics and you all for clinics money to sign up . you offer them financial benefit to join. you tell the clinic you will do all the work, all the items on the chart that show the work flow of the procurement technician. this does not sound to me like tissue donations for research. this sounds like someone who wants tomake money , a lot of money. selling the baby body parts so i think our witnesses for their
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generous time today. i welcome them and at this time i yield 10 minutes to miss county. >>. >> from the outset, this investigation has not been an objective or fact-based search for the truth but a political weapon to attack women's health care and life saving research and grass and intimidate those who provide these services. this was clear during our first hearing where one of the witnesses invited by the republicans drew comparisons between researchers who use fetal tissue and nazi war criminal doctor joseph mandala read a comparison echoed by chair blackburn in her opening statement. another republican witness testified that women who have abortions are quote, morally disqualified" from choosing to
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donate tissue for research purposes.for today's hearing, republicans have again invited witnesses who believe that abortion should be illegal, that women should not be permitted or trusted to decide whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term. some continue to declare planned parenthood is selling fetal tissue as you just heard for profit despite the fact that the housecommittees , 12 states and a texas grand jury have already cleared the organization of wrongdoing. these witnesses like our republican colleagues endorsed and rely upon the video allegations of antiabortion extremists david delisle and his associates to's support their inflammatory claims. anyone who has been following the facts knows the truth. mister deadlines videos are not accurate or reliable and they do not show the unlawful sale of fetal tissue and we will argue today that these
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so-called exhibits do not make that case. a grand jury in texas already put mister delighting to the test under oath and he failed. that grand jury instructed by the republican lieutenant governor to investigate planned parenthood instead indicted daleiden for breaking the law through his efforts to entrap planned parenthood. the district attorney handling the case refused to be presented to another grand jury, explaining that quote, we must go where the evidence leads us unquote. and he explained and i quote, anyone who pays attention knows that i'm pro-life area i believe abortion is wrong but my personal belief does not relieve me of my obligation to follow the law. that standard should apply with equal force here. there is no reason to believe that daleiden, a proven liar when it comes to planned parenthood would be anymore truthful about anyone else
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involved in the reproductive health care or fetal tissue research yet instead of correcting the record on the daleiden videos, the chair continues to invoke them area today my republican colleagues likely will claim that it is not just the videos. she has claimed, the chair has already claimed that. family assert that documents that this panel has received or that republican staff have created show the need for further investigation and this is also false. 16 years ago, the subcommittee on health and environment of the house commerce committee considered similar materials. 16 years ago. that hearing titled quote, fetal tissue: is it being sold in violation of federal law? unquote. featured a quote, service schedule showing amounts charged four types of tissue. transaction logs with charges for tissue on particular dates and agreements between
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providers and procurement organizations. that hearing also featured an employee, albertine
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valuable consideration unquote that allows reimbursement for costs associated with organ donations which can be considerable. allegations regarding possible unlawful profit from adult organ transplantation would not result in a call to ban all organ donations yet republican lawmakers and the house want to
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ban fetal tissue donation and research altogether. something that some states have already done. florida, for example recently enacted a sweeping bill attacking women's healthcare and banning the donation of fetal tissue. this is tragic or women and families in the gulf coast as some approaches and researchers race to understand and solve the z got virus. despite blackburn's claim that democrats are exaggerating she says, it's important. he studies have relied heavily on fetal tissue to increase our understanding of the zika virus. these bands have been proposed despite the fact that there still is no evidence related to fetal tissue donation. the documents received by the panel actually show that healthcare providers are losing
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money through programs that allow women to donate fetal tissue for research purposes. this was not what congress intended when it voted on a bipartisan basis to allow reimbursement of costs. it is absurd that even when they are losing money, providers are still attacked by those who appear to be motivated by their opposition to abortion, not the actual facts regarding fetal tissue donation. this panel is aperfect example. over the course of the investigation , bashir has targeted one clinic, one procurement organization, all of whom were cooperating voluntarily before the chair served them with unilateral subpoenas. the panel has known since january that southwestern women's options does not take any money for ensuring that women who want to donate tissue to the university can do so and let me underscore that fact. no money is exchanged in connection with a woman's choice to donate fetal tissue to researchers at the university of new mexico. already knowing this, the chair served as an issued press
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releases tying them to what you repeatedly described as an investigation into the unlawful sale of baby body parts. the words we heard today. as a result of the university and clinic have been subject to unwarranted accusations from state and federal officials and additional targeted harassment from antiabortion extremists. is it any wonder that university clinics and others reluctant to handle over the names of their researchers, students, clinic personnel and doctors know that the chair can amass a dangerous database of their names? for its part, the tissue procurement companies expressed already offered to have its procurement director explain its cost structure. the chair ignored that offer and instead called this public hearing and invited witnesses who have no firsthand knowledge of the facts to opine about potential criminal misconduct. on its own initiative, stem
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express has submitted a letter to ensure that the panel has the information needed to bring this investigation to an end. this investigation has never been and has no promise of becoming fair or fact-based. a republican colleagues disdain for the facts and for women and their doctors is putting researchers, doctors and women at risk. it is time for republican leadership to bring this investigation to an end. i ask unanimous consent to have the april 18 letter from stem express included as part of the record for this hearing, i yield back the balance of my time. the gentle lady yields back on her dc request. we had already agreed to put that in the record. at this time i want to welcome our first panel. senator jeanne shaheen is a us senator from new hampshire. she's the only woman in us history to be elected both a governor and a us senator.
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>> i'd be glad to say the weather letter i wanted inserted in the record is a different letter. that we received from yesterday. >> so moved. >> sorry. >> senator shaheen has received research in thesenate since 09 and is a member of the senate committee on armed services, foreign relations , appropriations and is ranking member of the small business and entrepreneurship committee. senator shaheen is a former small business owner and formerly served as the director of harvard university's institute of politics at kennedy school of government. welcome. senator ben sasse is a us senator from nebraska. senator sasse comes to the senate having spent the last five years as a college president. one of the youngest in the nation. during the first and second terms of president george w. bush, he worked in the department of justice and the department of homeland security before becoming assistant secretary for planning and
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evaluation at the us department of health and human services. welcome to you, senator sasse. at this time we will begin with senator shaheen for your five-minute remarks and we welcome you. >> thank you very much woman blackburn and ranking membership cousy, members of the committee. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you but i do so with great concern. i know you will hear from my colleague, senator sasse from nebraska and i respect his deeply held personal belief. but if we want to have a civil discussion on this issue, we should begin with the facts. already, news articles today have called into question the validity of the exhibits that will be presented to the panel. this committee very existence was founded on the basis of highly deceptive edited videos. these videos have since been proven to be misleading and false by multiple independent
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investigations across the country. in january, after thorough investigation into the videos, a texas grand jury cleared planned parenthood of any wrongdoing and indicted the individuals responsible for their creation. in fact, 12 other states have also cleared planned parenthood of any wrongdoing and eight additional states have declined to investigate, citing a lack of evidence. i believe it's now time for the special investigations to end and i'd also like to point out that fetal tissue research has long had bipartisan support. in 1993, congress passed the national institutes of health revitalization act which permits fetal tissue research. that bill passed with overwhelmingly support. 94 24 in the senate and 290 to 130 in the house.
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and i think it's important to note that that bill was passed on recommendations of a blue ribbon panel convened under president reagan which was passed while studying the ethics of fetal tissue research. millions of people have benefited from fetal tissue research. vaccine for polio and rubella were developed as a result of research done on fetal tissue research on health issues that touched so many of us. parkinson's disease, diabetes, hiv aids, eye disorders and spinal cord injuries have also benefited from the 1993 law. if it is the panel's desire to change the law, obviously us legislators are able to do that. but i believe it would be a great error. sadly, it's my belief that this panel was formed with political motivations. there is very little real interest in an unbiased investigation to uncover facts related to women's health or research.
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instead i believe this panel serves as an opportunity for some to once again attack the healthcare providers and millions of women and families depend on. in february, i joined with colleagues in both chambers to ask house and senate leadership to disband this panel and all other congressional investigations that would undermine women's access to healthcare. not only do i believe this panel is an inappropriate and wasteful misuse of federal resources, i am greatly concerned that it also puts researchers, providers and patients across the country at risk . unfortunately, as a result of the political rhetoric surrounding this issue, we've seen violent acts and threats against women health providers and researchers across the country. and i'm very sad to report that this is the same month this panel was formed, a women's health clinic in claremont new hampshire was vandalized not once but twice. the second attack caused so
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much damage the clinic was forced to close for nearly 6 weeks and this was a real this service to the women, men and families who rely on full range of services that the clinic provides. and unfortunately new hampshire is not alone. after the release of the deceptive highly edited videos, incidents of harassment against some health centers increased nine full in one month. i don't believe that today's hearing is fact-based, objective investigation but rather it is a taxpayer-funded political attack based on discredited evidence. i hope it will finally be time to move on and madam chair, if i could apologize for the need to leave early and go back to hearing, i appreciate again the opportunity to be here. thank you.
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>> we thank you so much and we do know you have to leave and get back, that you all are having votes this morning but thank you for the courtesy of your time and for waiting for us. senator sasse, you are recognized. >> let me just thank senator shaheen, thank you for being here. >> thank you for including me. many of us in the senate like many in-house and more importantly like millions of americans watched with grief the video footage of abortion doctors and others discussing the sale of baby body parts profit. as legislator, more importantly as a father i have three little kids, three precious ones, one of my little girls around with me from the basket and she's here with us today. more importantly as a father i support your investigation and your commitment to get to the bottom of what's going on. let's begin by stating clearly that we should not have to be here today. the 1993 nih revitalization act includes testimony where california democrat henry waxman said and i quote, this amendment i am offering would
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enact the most important safeguard to prevent any sale of fetal tissue for any purpose, not just for the purpose of research. any sale for any purpose. it would be a horrid waxman continued to allow for the sale of fetal tissue in the market to be created for that sale. ". words are important. the report language in the florida debate created a clear legislative intent that no one should process from the sale of fetal tissue. yet here in today's documents and exhibits, we see a business brochure and website urging quote, partner with us and improve the profitability of yourclinic. improve your bottom line. the financially profitable. these are quotes. procurement business offers a payment issue to abortion clinics and it offers to do all the work . that would appear to be the abortion clinic has no costs and it would thus appear to be
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precisely about profit as the marketing literature says. questions of profit and legality matter because we are talking about people. it matters whether or not procurement businesses broke the law. in matters whether or not abortion clinics are lining their pockets through the dismemberment and distribution of children all while receiving tax dollars. it matters because we are talking about the tiny limbs of little babies that have dignity. they are broken yet still precious children of actual mothers and fathers. as the committee's exhibits indicate, webpages exist where a customer can click on the drop-down box that lists every organ of a baby for sale. you can click on the brain, heart, eyes or a scout and select your gestation period. then you proceed to checkout and decide the method of shipment. we should pause to linger here. our humanity should be repulse . we should all be saddened by this. in this committee room and across the country we will obviously have passionate disagreements and discussions
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about the legality, justice and social implications of abortion policy. like many in this room, like a majority of nebraskans and the majority of americans i believe every baby is precious and worthy of legal protection, even the earliest phases of development. i am ashamedly pro-life but i also understand that many others disagree on abortion policy. our disagreements on abortion will sometimes be heated but wherever possible we should be looking for consensus. and here on this basic reality, we can and should agree, babies are not the sum of their body parts. babies are not meant to be bought and babies are not meant to be sold. babies are just that, they are babies. they are meant to be welcomed and rejoice over, held and nurtured. outside of our congressional responsibilities here, many of us do in fact welcome, hold and
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nurture children. we adopt and foster and mentor them. we offer hope and encouragement to their parents. madam chairman, your work and it does transcend politics. i appreciate also your concern with children born alive inside abortion clinics and with the treatment they receive. when i think of all the survivors of the abortion and i think about your investigation into the sale of baby body parts for profit, it makes born alive legislation all the more important that born alive abortion survivors protection act has already passed the house by a bipartisan vote of 248 two 177 and i've had the privilege of introducing the companion legislation in the senate and i invite my senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work together to pass this bill in our camera. this law would simply ensure that babies who survive abortions a fighting chance by requiring medical attention that is equivalent to what would be offered to any other premature baby born at the same stage . no life is disposable, no child deserves to have a life ended cold and alone, struggling for breath outside the womb in an
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abortion clinic. we americans frequently here for the vulnerable. we fight for the minority. we protect the powerless against the powerful and baby girls and boys are fighting for their lives. i encourage my colleagues to fight for them and support senate 2066, born alive abortion survivors protection act. madam chairman, we look forward to monitoring the progress of your investigation and thanks for including me in this hearing.>> thank you senator sasse, we appreciate your time. weare sorry for our delay and know that you have to scoot back to the senate for votes but thank you for your time. at this time i would like to call forward our tech and panel . and as they move forward to be seated on the panel i will move forward with introducing this panel to our audience so that we can move forward expeditiously.
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clay clayton is an attorney with robertson coley and clayton, ms. clayton practices civil litigation litigation for a wide range of clients for major corporations to individuals in cases involving fraud, rico securities, commercial matters, contract disputes, officer and director liability and shareholder and partnership concerns. mister robert raven served as assistant attorney general for legislative affairs with the us department of justice, where he drove attorney general janet reno's legislative initiative and handled the political challenges of congressional oversight of the department. he founded the rayburn group, public policy consulting organization in 2002 and continues to serve as president. he is a graduate of the wharton school and new york university law school. mister brian lennon served as
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federal prosecutor in michigan and virginia for 16 years and a trial attorney for the us department of justice civil division. as a deputy chief of the criminal division for the us attorney's office in the western district of michigan, ryan supervised the healthcare fraud and computer-related crimes unit among others. he also spent four and half years as a judge advocate for the us marine corps, handling both civil and criminal matters. now in private practice cross enjoyed, he specializes in criminal defense, particularly healthcare fraud and other white-collar and drug offenses, corporate internal investigations and compliance matters. mister michael norton served as us attorney for colorado from 1988 to 93. he was appointed by president reagan and reappointed by president george hw bush. mister norton has been practicing law since 1976 and
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is admitted to the bar in the states of colorado and virginia as well as washington dc. catherine glenn foster is an associate scholar with the charlotte mosher institute, where she offers research papers on science, medicine and research in the service of human life. she was formerly an attorney with alliance defending freedom and is a graduate of georgetown university law center. kenneth sophia was appointed us attorney for the northern district of florida by president hw bush and has served as irrigation counsel to numerous corporations and officials. mister's akayev has also served as law clerk at the florida supreme court and the us court of appeals and is a senior partner in one of florida's oldest and largest wide firms. he began his own firm, the sky a law group in the florida state capital in 2008. you are aware that the selected investigative panel is holding
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an investigative hearing and that we will take your testimony underwrote. do you have any objection to testifying under oath? the chair then advises you that under the rules of the house committee on energy and commerce, you are entitled to be advised by counsel. do you desire to be advised by counsel for today's hearing? okay. in that case, will you please rise and raise your hand and i will swear you win. you swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. thank you. you are now under oath and subject to the penalty set forth in title 18 section 1001 of the us code. you will each give a five-minute summary of your written statement. ms. clayton, we will begin the
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testimony with you and you are recognized for five minutes. use your microphone. >> area. thank you madam chair.i've been a corporate litigator since 1978 and i'm here today despite a family medical situation for two reasons. one is that women's reproductive health and medical research are being threatened by these hearings. the second reason is that i have instructive experience to share with this panel on the topic that you are considering here. 16 years ago, a client of mine, anatomical gift foundation, a nonprofit corporation that provided donated donated tissue to medical researchers in hopes of curing the disease is including the ones senator shaheen mentioned earlier. that nonprofit was falsely accused by the light dynamics, the antiabortion group
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congresswomen should count dimension, accused of selling fetal tissue. these baseless charges were made in a videotape since my light dynamics to congress and in that video, the person making the accusation was anonymous. as it happened, an employee of anatomical gift foundation, my client had gone to work for another company in violation of his contractatf hired me to sue . that man's name was dean albertson. out in albert's definition which was under oath like all of us today unlike what he said in the videotape, the videotape that light dynamics sent to congress, alberti admitted he was the person in that video and he admitted that what he had said in that video was fictional. he testified he told those life because light dynamics had paid him to and he said i needed the money. he had repeated those falsehoods on tvs 2020.
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but he knew better than to lie under oath. when i deposed him with the penalties of perjury at the chair acknowledged do arise. those of you who were here in the year 2000 may recall the humiliation that certain members of the house committee suffered when their star witness, dean alberti went up in flames and admitted that that much touted video had been fabricated. those house hearings established that my client had done nothing wrong, that fetal tissue wasn't for sale at all and that antiabortion zealots, light dynamics had foisted a false witness on congress. what was for sale wasn't fetal tissue, it was a phony witness statement and it had been bought and paidfor by antiabortion extremists . i find it curious even the not so distant history of this frighteningly similar scenario that this panel has not demanded sworn testimony of the
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accusers. the latest batch of antiabortion accusers as you've asked of us, chair blackburn. you haven't asked for that, have an fm to go under oath and that seems strange to's particularly when they come up with such a similar tale about the so-called sale of fetal tissue which again, is a lie. this guest to me that someone is afraid to put david daleiden and his story witness under oath because as we saw with the dean alberti fiasco, when penalties of perjury attack, sometimes instead of fiction the actual truth comes out. we know daleiden and his crew doctored videos to the point where the federal judge blocked the release of further tapes because they were fraudulent. another fact we know about them comes from the los angeles times examination of daleiden is on edited videos. they showed daleiden coaching and manipulating the testimony of holly o'donnell whose video
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interview by the way looks more like play acting than any genuine emotion. without cross examination of daleiden and his crew under oath, we have no way of knowing what he offered were said to miss o'donnell when his camera was not running. and in texas, when daleiden went before a grand jury convened for the express purpose of prosecuting planned parenthood, the grand jury did something very different. it didn't indict planned parenthood, it indicted daleiden for falsehoods. and the texas grand jury found of course that planned parenthood had done nothing wrong. for nearly four decades, i have been representing corporations and individuals in business litigation. and i have to say there is no bigger tell about the veracity of an accusation than when the person who is making the accusation will not stand by his or her accusation underwrote.
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as alberti told the house committee in the year 2000 quote, when i was under oath, i told the truth. anything i said in the video when i was not under oath, that's a different story.". so i have to ask, is this panel looking for the truth or for another story? a real inquiry would start with sworn testimony from daleiden and o'donnell and that would be true even if the doctored videotapes didn't have so much in common with the deceitful tapes that the abortion opponents including light dynamics staged eckstein years ago. this panel's failure to allow cross examination of daleiden and his cohorts sends a message loud and clear that those stories would not hold up under penalty of perjury any more than the baseless slurs dean alberti made in the year 2000 when life dynamics bought and paid for his testimony. and by the way, crutcher is one of the trainers of daleiden.
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this strikes me as inexcusable that the panel has been using its subpoena power to compel testimony from healthcare providers and medical researchers who have far better things to do with their time like providing healthcare, working to cure disease then daleiden and his crew. i just ask that until, unless this panel puts daleiden and o'donnell under oath and gets to the bottom of what they did, that these proceedings be terminated and our elected officials be allowed to return to doing the people's business. thank you. >> thank you miss clayton, mister rayburn. >> ranking members of congress and the committee, thank you so much for having me this morning. my name is robert raymond, i'm in private practice. over the years i've served as counsel to the house judiciary committee. and was confirmed as assistant attorney general for the office of legislative affairs department of justice. in 1999 as i was watching you this morning and the quorum
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with which you obviously run this committee i was reminded that i was democratic counsel that the chair of our committee, henry hyde walked across the capital to testify for my nomination and what a wonderful day that was and how much i miss him and appreciated him. i have taught law, practiced at a large law firm and clerked after law school.i appreciate the law and this committee's attention to it. for over 20 years my work has involved the representation of people and organizations before the congressional executive branch. i gave this testimony today is someone who is experienced both sides of advocacy and representation around investigations of all forms. this committee has asked us to opine on the questions of whether the current legislative language adequately prevents profiteering in the sale of fetal tissue and the parameters around what constitutes a sale
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for profit of fetal tissue. in 2000 in my capacity as assistant attorney general for the office of legislative affairs of the office of justice i was called upon to respond to almost identical concerns expressed by members of the congress regarding the alleged transfer of fetal tissue for profit. on march 9, 2000, i communicated with congress by signed letter of willingness to investigate and learn further about credible claims and allegations. while i don't have pacific recollection of further oral conversations within the department, subsequent to that written communication, i know from the public record that in july of 2000, acting us attorney jim flory decided after a thorough review of the issues involved that there were no violations of federal statutes, thereby announcing the closure of a thorough investigation into related facts. that is a matter of public record. i also recall yesterday a second investigation from the colorado us attorney and fbi that was similarly closed.
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we are today witnessing virtually identical allegations. while i am unaware as to whether doj or the fbi presently have ongoing inquiries into the factual allegations, it is significant to note that 12 state have affirmatively looked into related matters and declined to pursue any charge. additional eight states have affirmatively declined to investigate. given the importance that some people have about deferring to the state, i'd like to read into the record 12 states that have affirmatively said they have investigated and decided not to pursue charges around related allegations. florida, georgia, indiana, kansas, massachusetts, michigan, missouri, ohio, pennsylvania, south dakota and washington. in innumerable reasons exist as to why federal law enforcement has little record of indictment under the existing language which may include the dearth of actual profiteering and fact. the deference to state law enforcement authorities which are certainly capable of
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determining the same etiquette area that failed attempts to establish wrongdoing or paramount in this area, a lack of credibility of those presenting facts to the law enforcement officials. of the ultimate question on which this committee is engaged whether or not the existing statute merits either change or more rigorous enforcement i believe the statute is sound and fully addresses its intended aim. it is important today as it was when it was passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in 1993. the statute, considered bipartisan judgment of congress was meant to address during from the sale of fetal tissue. there is no evidence of an outbreak of such behavior in this nation. i am confident any acts of intentional misbehavior would be investigated and punished by law enforcement, both federal and state. thank you for having me. >> thank you mister raben. mister lemon you are recognized for five minutes. >> german), ranking member
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schakowsky and distinguished members of the panel, thank you for the opportunity toyou today about the pricing of fetal tissue . currently a partner at the law firm of warner and norcross and judge in grand rapids michigan but for 13 years before entering private practice i was an assistant us attorney in the western district of michigan. i'm not a medical ethicist or theologian. i do not represent a on either side of the right reproductive rights debate and i'm not here to advocate for any change in federal legislation. that is a former federal prosecutor, to provide some value to this panel through objective legal analysis of the exhibits to determine whether the abortion clinics and/or the procurement business identified in the exhibits violated the statute. based on my review of the exhibits, and i looked at this as if an agent had shown at my office on any working day with these exhibits and asked me to
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examine them, but based on that review i believe a confident and ethical federal federal prosecutor could establish probable cause that both the abortion clinics and the procurement businesses violated the statute, aided and abetted oneanother in violating the statute and likely conspired together to violate the statute . in fact, five of the six elements of the substantive offense, in my opinion there's proof beyond a reasonable doubt. the only element we are investigation is needed would include i believe forensic accounting and analysis thereof is whether the payments made research institutions that ultimately receive the human tissue to the procurement businesses were valuable considerations or alternatively reasonable payments associated with specific allowable services in the statute. with respect to the abortion clinics, in my opinion the proof more clearly establishes the compensation they received from the procurement business,
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price per tissue payment is indeed valuable consideration and as none of the identified services excluded from the definition were provided from the clinics. prosecutors and jurors clearly prefer to find established elements of the defense. five of the six elements of that events are clearly defined and established through the exhibits. as for the final elements, valuable consideration, that elements and those proofs are admittedly more nuanced. the statute itself provides valuable consideration by describing what is not. it does not include reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation , processing, preservation or the control or storage of human fetal tissue. valuable consideration is payment for something other than this exhaustive list of delineated services, this element is also established. as for the abortion clinics, the marketing materials that i
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reviewed clearly state that there is a financial profit from this partnership. several of the exhibits indicate the procurement business pays for per tissue, not a reasonable payment for a listed service.therefore the exhibits indicate in my opinion that these services provided by the procurement business either embedded technicians and notbe abortion clinics , therefore that these payments appear to be valuable consideration. indeed, they could be profits. as for the procurement business, it's my opinion that a much deeper analysis of the company's financials is necessary in order to establish the valuable consideration element beyond a reasonable doubt. because the businesses do in fact incur costs associated with these delineated services, a forensic accounting would be essential to breaking down the company's financials. looking at the growth and their revenue doesn't tell you whether they are profiting. if they are profiting in my
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opinion, they violated the law. i think there are other theories here although i think prosecutor would pursue that would be more important in looking at the potential criminality of the business and these are aiding and abetting and conspiracy. based on my limited review of the exhibits reviewed and the strength of the substantive case against the abortion clinic, pursuing and aiding or abetting a conspiracy count against the procurement business rather than a substantive maybe a stronger theory of culpability. as i conclude, i would just say i believe federal prosecutors take pride in protecting the most vulnerable among us. the ones i probably served with in the western district of michigan did not shy away from the tough cases. and they put their personal politics aside when asked to evaluate cases for prosecution. evidence for the lack thereof, not politics to determine whether us attorney allows a
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grand jury to investigate abortion clinics and fetal tissue clinics in their district. accu chairman blackburn and ranking member schakowsky and members for allowing me to testify and i welcome your questions. >> thank you mister lennon, mister norton , you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you madame chair and writing member schakowsky and esteemed members of the committee. my my name is michael norton, private practice of law in denver colorado. i've had the privilege of serving a united states attorney for the district of colorado, appointed by ronald reagan and reappointed by first president bush. nice to see you again. i have a written statement which i respectfully request be incorporated in the records and i simply want to summarize my comments and my remarks in the time that's available. first of all, i would say to the committee that this is not about women's health. it is not about abortion. how one stands on the issue of
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abortion. it's whether or not there is probable cause to believe crimes have been committed and if so, what to do about that. to do nothing about the potential of the commission of criminal crimes, is indeed flooding the criminal justice system of this nation and preferring those who are in well-connected places over those who are not. so i suggest to you at the outset, madame chair and members of this committee that what this committee is about is highly important and very critical to the criminal justice system and to the sanctity of that system and the united states of america. it's really not about the issue of abortion because potential profiteering and trafficking and aborted fetal tissue is of great concern. not only on the federal level but many states including my own state of colorado. which has adopted a law similar to the federal law that is
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being looked at by this committee today. there are many, many people therefore concerned that not only does federal statute but also the state statutes at issue have been violated and are being floated by the abortion industry. in 2015, it was revealed by one of these undercover videos that denver's planned parenthood of the rocky mountains was indeed making a profit by harvesting and trafficking the hearts, the brains, the lungs, the eyes, the liver and other body parts of babies whose lives planned parenthood had ended by abortion. these gruesome revelations came from a series of videos released by senator for medical progress that the committee has talked about and it was clear from the videos that planned parenthood had been actively engaged in harvesting and trafficking for profit body parts of babies whose lives planned parenthood had ended. those videos have not created
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a general queasiness about surgery and blood. no matter how one stands on the issue of abortion, no one has viewed these videos can come away thinking planned parenthood's harvesting and selling of these baby body parts is consistent with our values or consistent with the law. if wrongdoing has occurred, and i concur with the assessment mister lennon has made of the facts and circumstances, as to the commission of crimes in this case and i would add that it appears to be quite frankly that criminal violations of the health insurance portability act, but have also been committed by the procuring of the business technician in the facility itself and the review by that technician of privileged medical records of patients in order to determine which body parts that technician wants to have harvested and sold to him has also been committed. there are some facts that need to be determined and a
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confident criminal investigation could determine those facts but to do nothing is simply wrong madame chair and members of this committee and i thank the committee for its courage in moving into this area, investing in getting this area. i urge you to complete its investigation and refer this matter to the us department of justice for appropriate action which i pray is taken. thank you madame chair. >> thank you mister norton, ms. foster you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you. miss chairman, mister schakowsky, distinguished members of the panel. i am privileged to present this testimony concerning the pricing of human fetal tissue. my views are consistent with those of the charlotte closure institute where i am associate scholar which is dedicated to advancing science, medicine and research in the service of human life and promoting a culture and policy of life. my views are similarly consistent with those of sound legal, a law firm and legal
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organization advocating for universal right to life. as an attorney i have dedicated my career to advocating for the right of every innocent human being to be protected. and so i am troubled by those in the abortion and tissue procurement industries whose scheme to trade in baby body parts for their own financial enrichment and public warrant of these back alley transactions last year when undercover videos of oregon business brokers surface online. indeed, the trade in fetal body parts is a business. as demonstrated by the evidence presented by this panel, clinics and procurement companies have been getting away with charging far more than the allowed cost for harvesting, transporting and warehousing by parts as they wait for customers. in doing so they had violated both the intent and the letter of section 280 92 which bars among other things the transfer of human fetal tissue for valuable consideration.
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statute of definitions of valuable consideration is straightforward. if payment is not reasonable or not associated with the transplantation, in , processing, presentation, quality control or storage of human fetal tissue, it is not permitted. we can all agree on this statute passes bipartisan support in a democratic congress and was signed into law by president clinton. representative waxman at the time: fetal sports market a port. and yet, the panel's evidence reveals that abortion clinics are being promised a profit and are paid even when they have no apparent cost to be reimbursed and further multiplying a clinics windfall in savings on disposal services. tissue procurement companies are likewise paid exorbitantly by their customers. this market in baby organs and tissues demonstrates a flagrant
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and repeated disregard for the rule of law. it was no surprise when america's abortion business facing public and prosecutorial exposure relented and agreed to end its long-standing practice of receiving direct payments for baby body parts. and yet in my years of working this. and the 23 years that section d 2932 has been lost i am unaware of a single instance in which it has been enforced. this panel is right to shine a light on big abortions back alleys. perhaps we forget this law was meant to protect the ethical imperative that recognizes the dignity in every human life and the face of clinical advertised language we may become desensitized in the abortion clinics, human baby is called tissue or a fetus. ahead is a calvarium or cal. the technician who counts body parts is a product of
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conception or poc worker. and by converting human lives into able,, public deception has been stifled. but we are in fact talking about real and unique human beings whose lives were tragically snuffed out. we are talking about affording them the minimal dignity that comes with not having there remains further picked through to the and sold like chattel. i know that the abortion industry and its allies are waging a campaign against any effort at transparency or accountability. it would is what we can expect from a big business with an emphasis on maximizing profits and a lot of money to lose. and so they abortion is fighting back with all its financial and political might, investing its political and monetary stockpile to buy public sanctions and weighing its stump down on the scales of justice with high-profile pr firms, private politicians and spellbound media. with these allies until now the
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abortion industry has defeated in shouting down the voices acknowledging the public evidence of guilt and crying out for justice but no more. we the people are not afraid of confronting the truth and we encourage this panel and those in law enforcement to pursue it. common sense and common decency demand enforcement. in section 280 92, thank you. >> thank you ms. foster. mister surprise, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you madame chairman. >> and the members of this committee, i was privileged and honored to serve as the united states attorney for the northern district of florida and before that, was an assistant us attorney for 10 years much of my expertise that i could lend to the committee would be in of course the area of determining whether a grand
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jury should be an panel, whether a pick case should proceed, whether investigation should be pursued. and i've heard it said today that this is the committee that has disdain for the truth. that this is not a fact based inquiry and when i look at the exhibits that were submitted but also of course when i looked at the videos that were presented, it strikes me as odd that there would not be an aggressive and meaningful investigation into the allegation that indeed, human baby parts are being sold for profit. article two, section 3 of our united states constitution in fact requires of the executive
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branch that it faithfully execute the laws of the country. by not faithfully executing those laws, you are in fact taking specific affirmative action to defy what is required by the constitution. and in this situation, it is beyond my assessment and belief that when you have a procurement industry that is actually marketing to the abortion clinics that they can procure or work to gain more profits by this method and when they are feeding their own employees in the clinic to do those jobs that would indeed cost and would indeed be the
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services that would comprise the legitimate cost or payment for those services, then the question clearly arises, have these clinics profited from this process? it's a very simple, basic issue. and so we are not saying as a prosecutor when someone comes in the door with this evidence, oh, this is absolutely positively affect. we are saying no, this justifies a full and complete and thorough investigation and i think there does seem to be a pattern when, this can't possibly have any basis because let's see,16 years ago someone lied . so we can't take this. this is the same sort of thing that happened before. and we should also stop th prosecution of all murders because there have been cases
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where persons have lied and people have been wrongly convicted and the whole argument is nonsense. and in fact, this whole notion that oh, let's fall all over ourselves to insist that this is nothing but an effort to attack reproductive rights of our citizens. when it is in fact an effort to enforce the law which is required of our constitution. thank you. >> thank you mister the kayak. at this time we will begin questioning on our side, yesterday gentleman recognized, parliamentary inquiry, state or inquiry. >> madam chair, the witnesses appear to have relied heavily on the premise of your staff that clinics incur no cost related tofetal tissue . that premise is captured in exhibit g which you previously had up on the screen. could you put that up on the screen for a moment again while i read parliamentary exhibit g?
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>> let's bring up exhibit g and please take the inquiry. >> that's not exhibit g. that's it. thank you. madam chair this chart says the clinic has quote, no cost to the payments of pure profit for the clinic. this is contradicted by exhibit c6, c9 and c-17 which show some clinics contain one, fill out paperwork related to fetal tissue donation. these are all costs of government accountability of recognized six years ago as reimbursed with direct quote, unquote. madam chair can you explain how this document, exhibit g was created and in statute with foundation including the discrepancy what this fetal tissu
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>> we discussed this previously before you arrived and all of the documents come from the work that took place by the submissions that came to us, whistler blower information, and g is one of the things compiled by the work. we begin the questioning and i turn to mr. pitt. >> i don't believe this is discussed by the judiciary committee. how can you explain the discrepancy on g and the following ones that list the cost?
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that didn't happen. >> there is no discrepancy. i thank the gentlemen for the -- do you have a motion? >> no, i have an inquiry that is being side stepped. g says the abortion clinic has no cost and the abortion clinics cost are pure profit and all cost borne by the customer. exhibit c-9 says it is an exhibit of procedures and policies and it says you, you the employee, must inform the assistant manager and hss when you complete the work so this insures they don't draw --
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>> you are siding a procurement business procedure. i thank the gentlemen for the inquiry. >> you have to tell the staff and that takes times and it is a direct cost. >> at this -- >> they have to tell the abortion clinic they are done. that the abortion clinic doesn't continue to take more samples which is a direct cost for the clinic not the procurement business. >> the documents are separate. it is not a direct contradiction and the documents are separate when it relates to abortion clinics and the other is to the procurement business. >> what is the methodolgy to determine there is no cost for the abortion clinic as asserted in exhibit g has apparently has no bases.
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>> it is based on the work and i thank you for the parliamentary inquiry. >> can you explain how using a chart that draws no conclusion doesn't violate house rules or reflect credibility or discredits the house and this panel in rule 23 cause 1. what i am hearing is that staff people somehow derived this information. we are not told how. >> mr. nadler, this isn't a parliamentary inquiry. i am turning to mr. pitts. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair, for calling this important hearing on the pricing of fetal tissue.
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this issue has caused me considerable concern because one of the underpinnings and safe guards that allowed for the donation of fetal tissue for transplantation and research was that this tissue would not be sold. the author of the statute, representative waxman, stated during the floor debate in 1993 and i quote it would be abhorant to allow for the sale of fetal tissue and a market to be created for that sale end quote. and yet, this is what is happening as one of the witnesses said in the back alleys today. as scene an exhibit b2 and b3 the procurement business markets itself on its brochore as a way
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for clinics to make additional income by allowing the procurement business, procurement technicians at a take fetal tissue and organs from babies immediately after the abortion was clinic using the words financially profitable, fiscally rewards, financial benefit on the brochure. every task is performed by the technician in the procurement business. so procurement businesses are essentially the middle man and are paying fees to abortion clinics but the abortion clinics are incuring no cost. exhibit d is payments from procurement businesses to abortion clinics for aborted babies and baby blood. the abortion clinic charged the
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middle man with a bill for 11, 365 dollars in august of 2010 for baby parts and blood that the middle man technician's harvested. another in voice in january of 2011 charged $960 dollars for harvested baby parts and blood. the middle man even makes it easy for the researcher to purchase the baby body parts. exhibit c3, the procurement business order form, or the drop down menu for baby organs shows just how easy this is. first it asks on the left side, quote, what type of tissue would you like to order. i suppose you could respond, anyone could respond to is, i would like to order brains.
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then it says number of specimens. well six, let's say, baby brains. start and end range. well, 16-18 weeks. and then here is another question. add another tissue type? you could say yes. another tissue type listed female reproductive system and ovaries you could take five of those at 15 weeks. you could add, you know, five baby tongues. shipping options. you could respond, yes, i want to rush ordered. so for crying outloud this is the of baby body parts. there is a market for baby body parts and you get what you pay for. this is absolutely repulsive.
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we must not forget each testified here each babeee -- baby brain or tongue represents a baby. how can anyone defend this practice? these organizations were making money well above the actual cost. going back to exhibit b2 and b3 the websites show intent. they are publicity marketing materials. my question for the former proscured, start with mr. seek. what intent did you learn that the organizations were profiting from selling baby body parts. >> congressman, pitts -- >> put on your mic.
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>> i pressed the button and then it went off. some of that evidence is in this record. i heard everyone rushing to insist that these video tapes are just deceptively prepared. in other words, do what we are extremely good at doing. sukhi those videos were posted. all of those videos were posted. there are some things when people say them on tape it doesn't matter what they didn sy elsewhere. if someone is saying that would
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be good and we are talking about profiting from this, and they are talking about this, that is co evidence that goes along with what you are saying and it is strong evidence for someone is profiting for it. i would like to know the other communications, e-mails, back and forth between those people. we would seek those items and of course the accounting records. thank you. >> yield back. >> ms. schakowsky is recognized for five minutes. >> unfortunately, we have the majority refusing to even bring in the one party that could answer these questions and that is stem express. i want to say, mr. sukhia, and mr. norton, as lawyers the fact that you keep referring back to
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this completely discredited by recongressi recongressional panels and by state and grand jury. i want to go back to the letters and the exhibits that have been mentioned.
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i want to, as far as b2, the majority of this brochure is misleading at best. the senate is involved in a broad spectrum of work that the company sports related to adult blood, adult tissue, and it expresses work with adult blood and tissue that has nothing to do with fetal tissue and it is less than one percent of the company's profits. they have offered to come in and provide the exact information.
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i think it shameful. i want to ask another question, and i think this is parallel and credited video that led to the investigation that found no guilt. i want to skip part of this and go to the explanation between me versus the client. it impacted him and and others. >> yes, ms. schakowsky, including the army of god, the group that shot dr. tiller, not the time he was murdered but
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shot before murdered. they are one of the most violent anti-choice groups around. these video tapes were circulated and everybody believed they were true. it must be true. we saw it on a video tape. not under oath. anyone who wants to look at the defense of this, get mr. delie under oath and see what he says when the penalty of perjury is an opposition. in the deposition i took, they started telling the truth and what he told was everything else was a lie. these threats in danger the life and safety of people all over the country. as in colorado, a crazy mr. deer, murdered three people because he thought the tapes were true even though 12 states,
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the texas grand jury, have found it to be fallacious. >> i want to say your client provided a letter sent by anti-abortion group to your clients' wife and in that letter the group referenced baby parts, that is a quote, and warned her that it was quote watching you and your husband unquote and that this is quote only the beginning. i seek consent to enter this march 9th letter. i believe there is a connection between the murders at the clinic in colorado springs following the deceptive videos where the murderer said no more baby body parts and the repeat of that language and the repeat of the false acquisitions and the collection names.
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a database of names of people involved in research and clinics is dangerous. it is dangerous. we should not be doing that in the united states of america and i yield back. >> again, the lady's time has expired. i yield to ms. blackburn for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. i thank the panel for being here. i want to focus on exhibit g and who bears responsibility for the procurement chart. as a nurse, i am aware of how important it is to follow procedures especially in performing your duties who caring for a patient who trusted you for their medical treatment. let's walk through a day in the life of a procurement tech. if you would police turn to exhibit c for this question. in exhibit c4 you would see that
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the tech gets an e-mail from -- like the one of c-4, and gets the order and knows what she needs to harvest today. second from the bottom line it says she will need a brain 16-18 weeks and a complete but can be in pieces. so she has a very specific tissue she is looking for. now if we can turn to c-9, exhibit c-9, she informs the abortion clinic staff of what she will be procuring on that day. we see there on the first line where she communicates with the assistant manager and says upon arrival inform the staff what she is procuring per day. let's follow along with exhibit c-5.
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the tech reviews the medical files which is another subject of if this is a hippa violation and if she thaz has the right to learn the names, gestation and timing log. she tracks and marks with the patient's needs and what she has been given as her job for the day. exhibit 8, next the procurement tech approaches the patient rating for this abortion and many times this is a young woman who is afraid, not always certain about what she is doing, and needs advice and counseling. that is not what see her getting. this tech doesn't have time and must match the orders with the patient at the right gestation time. she consents with them saying
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her baby tissue is about curing for potential disooeases like diabetes and parkinson's. and she said the law in california requires the tissue to be incinerated. she is leaving one thing out, she could offer to bury this baby actually. but that is left out. she is given, i think, the decisions that are very difficult. either you are going to incinerate this baby or give this baby up for research. i think there should be counseling and given all options to the young woman who is in a difficult situation in making that decision. let's turn to exhibit c-12 and after that c-13. after the abortion, the
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procurement tech collects the tissue and procures the baby body parts. she carries all of her supplies can her. you will see in this exhibit she has a very detailed instruction list about what she is putting these body parts into. this is not coming from the abortion clinic. this is coming from the procurement agency. then the tissue tech arranges for the delivery. this is by fed-ex. it is clear about who is paying for the delivery of this. not only the test tubes and so on that she will be using to put the specimen in. let's go back again to exhibit g where we see here in exhibit g a plank on where the expenses are for the abortion clinic because
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as i walk you through her day, there is nothing to indicate that the abortion clinic has incured any expenses. mr. lennon, if you were to walk through this, how does this comprehensiveness of the tissue tech's work inform your thinking about whether the abortion clinic is profiting from the sale of baby body parts? >> thank you. i did consider that in my analysis here. so, the question that was raised earlier in the parliamentary question by the representative from new york was that maybe there is a conversation. in this case there was a conversation. but maybe the payment should be for that conversation in the processing. that is the only thing i see where the abortion clinic had any cost occurred for that conversation.
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not a price-per-tissue payment. that informs we are talking about the sale of a part and not a reasonable cost. the other attack of the defense council is they are involved in the processing because the client, the patient, is there. but the abortion itself is not the processing of the tissue it is the creation of tissue through the destruction of a human life. i think there is really no argument, i saw from any of this, that the abortion clinic had any other cost. they are getting a per tissue payment. >> thank you, mr. lennon. i yield back. >> ms. degette you are recognized for five minutes. >> as a former litigator myself there is nothing i like better than a panel of lawyers. i have a series of questions but would prefer a yes or no answer. first question i have for the
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panel is we received a pact of documents from the majority. i believe i have seen you all referring to it in a binder during the hearing. my first question is have you seen these documents before today's hearings? >> yes. >> yes. gl yes. >> thank you. and did you personally author any of these documents ms. clayton? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> have you spoken with anyone who authored the documents? >> not to my knowledge. >> not to my knowledge. >> not to my knowledge. >> maybe. >> who have you spoken with? >> the folks -- the contact names? mark bellin. >> and that is the majority staff? >> yes. >> thank you. now for the documents listed in the index that accompanied the
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packet coming from a procurement business have you spoken with that procurement business about the documents ms. clayton in >> no. >> no. >> no and that is why there needs to be an investigation. >> now do you have any first-hand knowledge of how the procurement business in question created the documented used today? >> absolutely not. >> no. >> no. >> and for the documents that are listed as staff created, for example exhibit b 4 and b 5, did the republican staff discuss those documents with you, ms. clayton? >> no. >> no. >> could you remind me of the exhibit you are talking about? >> the exhibits like the charts that were clearly staff created. >> no. >> no. >> no. >> i think we did discuss that.
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>> did they tell you the documents, sir, that formed the foundation of those? >> no. >> thank you very much. my last question, did you have any first-hand knowledge of what documents and facts the majority staffer relied upon? >> absolutely no idea. >> no. >> no. >> yes. >> okay. how do you know that if you didn't talk to the staff? >> the exhibits that were provided to me support the summary of documents -- >> i am talking about -- >> i am trying to answer your question. >> mr. norton, i am talking about the staff created documents like the charts. did they tell you what data as they used? >> that is not what you asked but the answer to that is no. >> ms. foster? >> no. >> no. >> thank you. mr. raven, i want to ask you a couple questions. given no one on the panel has
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first-hand knowledge of how the exhibits were created or the underlying fact captured in them do you think it is appropriate for the witnesses to speculate about possible criminal misconduct? >> i think calling it speculation is entirely accurate. it is not probative. >> you heard in his testimony, you heard mr. lennon testify that not based on his experience as a prosecutor that he believes these documents in and of themselves not only established probably cause but proof beyond a reasonable doubt. what is your potential of that analysis? >> i would be frightened if that is how we live. >> why? >> several. the context of these, and i don't have to go back to 2001 -- >> if you can be brief.
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>> there has been a volume of inaccurate and deceptive information thrown at the committee and media at this issue. if i were an investigator or prosecutor i would be skeptical. >> wouldn't you want to bring in the people that created the documents and put them under oath? >> yes. >> thank you. madam chair, i am stuck on this because if people are selling fetal tissue in violation of the law we need to get to the bottom of it but we cannot have a witch hunt based on things taken from a screen shot and documents and charts created by staff. even though 12 states, including my home state of colorado by attorney general kaufmann who is a republican and investigated the claims against planned parenthood of the rocky mountains and found no cause of action to investigate even though 12 states investigated and found nothing, if you want
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to send it to the department of justice for investigation, i will guarantee you they will not make up little charts with their staff. they will get to the bottom of it with original documents and i suggest that is what you should do. >> that is not correct about colorado attorney general kaufmann, ms. degette. >> doctor, you are recognized. >> want to expand, mr. norton? >> attorney general kaufmann hasn't investigated the trafficking of baby parts of bodies. she has taken the position she has no authority to investigate the matter whatsoever unlessed asked by the governor. >> will you yield? >> i will not yield. >> we will not get to the truth of it then, i guess.
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>> indictment in texas was for using a fake id and the datd ofa college kid i could tell you half the campus would be indicted over that. the researchers are loosing money on the fetal tissue. if they are loosing money how are they loosing money if there is not a financial transaction? i agree past investigations are irrelevant to the today's discussion. if that was the case we would never investigate anything. and the other thing is the person in colorado who tragically murdered people have very severe mental illness and that was what was impacting that situation which is tragic. during the time of the 1993 nih revitalization act everyone had high hopes about fetal tissue transplants. i was a doctor before coming to congress. unfortunately that didn't work out.
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so, in reference to this particular procurement agency which has been mentioned multiple times by the minority, it was passed to put a statute allowing reasonable payment implantation process and quality control. i know a little bit about this because i was a doctor. it appears all of these are upstream activities from the abortion clinic in reference to this particular full-service procurement agency. so the question is, and i will start with mr. lennon, assuming that that is correct, under this procurement agency we are discussing today, do you see language in the statute that forms the bases for any abortion clinic? >> the statute doesn't separate
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the two. my written tome testimony makes it clear all of this is admissible in court and story tellers are credible insiders or people compeled to testify to this. my written testimony points out this evidence needs to be collaborated. if the abortion clinic could show reasonable cost that would comply with the statute. i didn't see that any exhibits are was asked to review. >> mr. norton? >> i agree with that. in our system of criminal justice each and every individual is presumed guilty
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unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt even the clients ms. degette brought to my office. that would be the case here as well. there are a number of unanswered issues i think a competent investigation should and could pursue. for example, how much does the abortion clinic receive for an abortion from a client. is that the from the patient? insurers? medicaid? other sources. what, if any of the services provided to the client, the woman who the abortion is committed on, are unbundled and build to insurers including medicaid? what is the actually cost of the abortion? what are the amounts over and above the cost? where do they go? how are they accounted for? what is happening to the profits? how does the abortion clinic notify the procurement technician of the fact of abortions? it appears the procurement
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business technician is embedded in the clinic and given access to private information before the abortion client is on scene. >> i am running out of time. mr. sukhia, you wanted to comment earlier. real quickly. >> thank you very much. the federal provision is a federal provision. no all of the talk about states having looked at this -- >> the states looked at the services in questions were not provided and i will speak for indiana so obviously something was done wrong because that wasn't part of the equation. >> from the standpoint of a federal prosecutor it will not be swayed by what states decided was or wasn't a violation of their state statutes. >> fair enough. i yield back.
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>> gentlemen's time is expired. ms. speirer, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. this hearing belongs in a bad episode of cards. i am sure frank underwood is lurking somewhere in the room. this hearing is based on house of cards and the exhibits are likelihood the staff carried out by someone who is under indictment in texas and whose home has been the subject of a court-ordered search in california. is this hearing going to proceed based on stolen and misleading documents? even frank underwood could be blushing at this point. the committee's soul purpose is holding fake hearings on companies that apply with the laws but not the political agenda of republicans who want
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to restrict women's health care. 12 states, four congressional committees, one senate, three hours have released the videos released by the so-called center for medical progress and found absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing. the same cannot be said for david and his associates. this so-called committee is the very definition of a kangaroo court. a mock court that disregards the rules of law and justice to validate a predetermined conclusion. this mock court has real consequences. while we focus on what is going on inside a woman's uterus we are ignoring what happens to babies and children outside of them. how else can you explain why this panel is holding this hearing why children go hungry and research on pediatric cancer is in need of more dollars.
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fetal tissue research was key to the cdc's recent conformation of the link between the zika virus and encephalitis. this is the first stage of creating a vaccine to stop the zika virus. why are we not talking about protecting those infants lives? if this committee abandons promising research not a single life will be saved but many, many will be lost. perhaps we should propose a new name for this committee. the select investigative panel on stopping research and letting people die. now, let me ask mr. rayburn given that no witnesses on the panel have first-hand knowledge of how these exhibits were created or the underlying facts captured in any of them, do you think it is appropriate for the
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witnesses to speculate -- >> will the gentle lady yield? >> gentlemen is recognized. >> i take personal offense for it being said as a physician i am here to allow people to die. i would like those words stricken by the record. >> you were not referenced by name. >> i would not quibble with inquiry on that. >> if the gentlelady would yield? >> i will yield. >> you would have to be referenced by name. i appreciate the inkwu by name. >> i would like it part of the recorded i am offended by that comment. >> so noted. ms. speirer, you are recognized.
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>> this is just speculation. it is not probative evidence of anything. we have bright people speculating. >> to mr. lennon, the madam chair in her opening remarks even referenced quote horrible videos. these videos have 30 minutes missing from the them. the doctor interviewed said ten times that planned parenthood doesn't profit from tissue donations. mr. lyden sent a transfer aagreement with a compensation clause to planned parenthood when trying to negotiate a contract and planned parenthood struck that particular compensation clause and it wasn't pursued. is that a reputable person to base an entire hearing on?
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>> i have never heard of the gentlemen you reference and i don't know house of cards and frank underwood either. there is a difference between what a discreted whistler blower as opposed to admissions made by a potential target. those are apples and oranges. i have not reported and i am not saying i watched all of the videos. i am talking with evidence there is a difference between a discreted whistle blower and agent or employee or officer of a targeted industry. those are admissions that can be admissible in court. i have not looked at all of the videos. >> i thank you. my time is expired. >> dr. harris you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much. i am not a lawyer. i am a doctor and worked in nih
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research and john hopkins. i don't want to ask about profit today. i think the record speaks for itse itself. all of the cost were covered by procurement companies. on exhibit b2, the brochure, exhibit c 8 at the bottom, i will ask a legal question. approval is important in human research. if you are looking at whether someone is out to make a profit they will cut corners and save a dollar here or and there. i will ask a question about the bio med rib. i will ask madam chair to enter into the record two letters from the department of health and human services regarding the company. the march 29th, 2012 letter is a letter to the company asking them to cease and desist because
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of the shoty work this one-room, single-owned firm here and you can see the price list. i submitted to the rib and they guarantee if you have it in tuesday before noon you will have it before that week. for $1900 more you can submit it after noon on tuesday and have it approved that week. it is unbelievable. i want to ask a spick legal question. if the company continued to explain specimens between march 29th-january 2013 who is libel for that.
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who would be responsible for that? >> let me ask this question. if the fda had said you cannot obtain tissue and the letter came back a year later and because of regulations further downstream. in other words, if i was obtaining the research. i assume the previous rib
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approval is valid and they represent approval. if they don't, is it valid to see if the rib's were notified or the researchers were notified and in fact suspended by the fda. is that something we should look into, mr. norton? >> i think that is a very valid question frankly. as i looked at the exhibits in preparation for the hearing, that was a question i had was what was the effective and the date of and the integrity of the approval process. it is a document that is being provided to the panel.
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>> on page two, it says the abortion procedure will not change. we look at a consent form entered in the record and if in fact the procedure is changed in any way is that a violation of the rib approved consent which is necessary for federal research dollars? it is actually necessary for any research to be conducted. if you in fact modified the --
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>> the gentlemen's time has expired. okay. go ahead. >> the question of premise is i don't know a thing about the consent forms at rib. it was a distorted analysis. i don't think there is a prosecutor in the country that would feel comfortable putting people who created the videos on the witness stand in a case because they would be impeached. >> ms. del bennie you are recognized. >> thank you.
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this hearing and frankly this entire investigation is nothing more than an attempt to limit a woman's right to chose under the false idea of illegal tissue sales. this isn't the first time we have seen this. 16 years ago the house held a hearing on nearly identical claims based also on secretly recorded videos by anti-choice extremist were found to be f fabricated and false. in that hearing the majority relied upon a whistle blower to claimed they were profiting from illegal tissue sales. while testifying the whistle blower acknowledged he fabricated his statements. dr. miles jones was still investigated and foun after a
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thorough review of the issues no violations of federal statutes were found. mr. rayburn, if the justice department uncovered evidence dr. jones violated the federal laws on fetal tissue donation, the statute, section 289 g-2 would have permitted the department of justice to prosecute. is that correct? >> yes. >> and the majority is saying the term valuable consideration is not fully defined and as a result the dodge is not capable of enforcing the law. in your opinion, does the department of justice lack the clarity they need the endorse the law? >> no. >> and there they had actually evidence of the violations the dodge would enforce the law would it not >> i have complete confidence the men and women of the department of justice know what they are doing and take it seriously, yes.
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>> so is it fair to say there is not a problem with the statute in the case of miles jones but a an of facts to support sh prosecution? >> that would be my inference. >> do you think we are in a similar situation today? >> yes. >> do you think the lack of prosecutions over the years signal there are not widespread violations of the law as we have heard alleged here today? >> that is right. >> so then, once again, i think this hearing is really another recycled attempt to show wrongdoing when there is none. we are watching history again repeat itself. after the investigation in 2000, false acquisitions on several
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separa separate. >> the false allegations and attempt to stir up people like robert dear. and people were bragging about going out to do business anyway any means. how crutcher avoided prosecution i don't know but i think it is because he is getting others to lie for him. these attacks from these organizations have been endless and threaten the lives of everyone using a clinic. they don't just provide abortions but a host of health services. the people murdered in colorado were not getting abortions.
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it is a terrible threat to the health and safety of the nation when they are allowed to get. >> the majority wants to use the taxpayer panel to continue the investigation on t false allegations even though they have been debunked by everyone who looked at them including state attorney generals and committees right here in congress. the truth is that the investigation and this particular investigation is not about fact finding. we have not had witnesses who can speak to the facts here. women definitely deserve better. i yield back. >> mr. duffy, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair.
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is it fair to say the whole panel agrees we should look for the truth? and we should enforce the law. anyone disagree with the fact we should enforce the law? great. we are starting out well. i heard conversations about how the department of justice and ms. clayton has there been a lead investigation? >> i am not privy to that. >> is there a lead doj attorney? >> i am a civil litigator. i don't have access to that and i don't believe it is allowed to be shared with that. >> you are not aware of any lead attorney. does anyone on the panel know of a lead attorney at the department of justice leading an investigation? >> no. i have lerrheard nothing.
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>> i haven't either. >> starting with b2, i believe that this was a document that was received from a national abortion provider conference. it seems to indicate there could be profitability. does that concern anyone on the
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panel? >> i would agree with you. >> this is an issue of woman's health care. this is especially true of others. >> i would add as a woman i am deeply offended abortion clinics are allowing access to distress us and put our children on display like chicken livers are in grocery stores.
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it deeply offends me. >> ms. clayton, it is your testimony that b2 has been altered? >> i have no knowledge of the documents and if these are like the video tapes i would start the with assumption they have been altered. but i never saw them until sent by e-mail, i think, yesterday. >> you have had a chance to look at them yesterday, you are an impartial witnesses who is making statements they are doctors >> i said they might be because i have no knowledge nor has anyone in the room given the source of the documents. what does the doctor in exhibit b2 show?
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>> it shows an abortion provider can have financial profitability. >> doesn't say that at all. as well any other kind of information that is limited. i looked at b2. it is clear this is talking about adult tissue which is far differently regulated. >> that is not true. i cannot tell from the -- >> even if it does apply to both it is still an offense because
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it applies to fetal. >> if this document is being sent out during the nation abortion provider conference is that your testimony? >> is what they testimony? >> that this is referring to adult tissue. >> all i can tell you it is clear that this document is not limited to fetal tissue and if i may finish answer -- >> one last question. there has been a lot of conversation about money involved in politics. has anybody on this panel -- >> gentlemen -- >> made a contribution to it any members on the panel. >> the gentlemen's time has expired. >> i yield back. >> ms. watson-coleman you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much. it is often says congress writes the laws and the executive
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branch enforces them. in 2000 when similar allegations about tissue procurement organizations were made the justice department was asked to investigate. then assistant attorney general robert rayburn, you sir, thank you for being here, responded to a request and set-upton. in that letter, based on the preliminary reviews of the records it appears it department hasn't received any information meeting our standards of triggering a formal investigation that fetal tissue has been sold for a profit and i ask unanimous consent a copy of the letter be entered in the record. thank you, madam chair.
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can you explain what the standards of triggering a formal investigation in the doj and why the standards are necessary and have these standards been met in this instance we are debating now? >> these standards are not been met. >> what the standards are, why they should be bet, what triggers it and if we are there. >> extremely briefly. there are different levels all agencies go through. there is an initial investigation which can be begun with any credible data. there is a formal investigation which requires a supervisor to sign off were the use of resources. and then it is working with a prosecutor to figure out a range of criteria. i can refer you to the guidelines and get that to you.
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to answer your question, it could well be an agency is involved in an investigation e. we have on the record 12 states with open and closed investigation, eight state officials wouldn't even open an investigation based on the evidence they have. so i would not be surprised if the department looked at it and declined. as stated before the central problem is the deception around how so much of this evidence was created that i think it would give most prosecutors paz to go forward. >> would this be enough to trigger a doj investigation with the videos only? >> it would be an investigator and prosecutor going with incredibly caution. they will have to find a probative and credible evidence
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from other than that source. >> would it determine the validity of the allegations? it would be important to at least have the conversation with individuals with actual knowledge of the facts under any review and request for investigation? >> yes. >> here today you have been asked by my republican colleagues to talk about possible criminal misconduct of documents sent late monday afternoon without identification of the author and underlying source of information the documents contain and without the benefit of speaking to anyone with first-hand knowledge of this information. is this, in your opinion, a fair way to determine if there has been a violation of federal law? >> no.


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