A while back, I blogged about the odd case of prosecutors choosing to, among other things, indict investigators of Planned Parenthood for violations of Texas law prohibiting tampering with government records for possessing a fake California drivers' license. Yesterday, a judge decided to dismiss all charges, but not for the reasons that one would guess.
The reason was that the grand jury's term had been extended, but Texas law does not allow grand juries much latitude in issuing indictments during a holdover period. This is, of course, a protection against the very kind of "fishing expeditions" that seemed to be the case with the prosecutor's indictments in the first place, and issuing the indictments was thus a basic error by the prosecutor that was allowed by another basic error by the judge.
This is good news, and I hope that someone goes a step further and asks what was going on that the fishing expedition was allowed in the first place, and whether Texas law really prohibits investigative journalists from hiding their true identities, and whether Devon Anderson's office consistently prosecutes allegations of fake IDs to begin with. To put it mildly, she should be asking others "is the AC working? It's getting warm in here." Not quite Mike Nifong, but worth a look. And the Fox News article on the dismissal gives a hint that David Daleiden's attorneys may be thinking about the same thing. Stay tuned; this could be an interesting ride.
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