The Justice Department has introduced a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices and the sale of fetal tissue.
In a letter first bought by Fox News, Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd officially asked unredacted paperwork from the Senate Judiciary Committee, the similar panel that led the congressional probe into the ladies’s well being group.
“The Department of Justice appreciates the offer of assistance in obtaining these materials, and would like to request the Committee provide unredacted copies of records contained in the report, in order to further the Department’s ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of that report based on the full range of information available,” Boyd wrote.
Fox News has discovered that ultimate month, the FBI first asked the unredacted paperwork from the committee.
Fox News is informed that Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., mentioned they had to obtain a letter and be confident that the paperwork could be used for investigative functions.
The letter, despatched to Grassley and Feinstein on Thursday, is a unprecedented affirmation by the Justice Department of a federal investigation.
“At this point, the records are intended for investigative use only—we understand that a resolution from the Senate may be required if the Department were to use any of the unredacted materials in a formal legal proceeding, such as a grand jury,” Boyd additionally wrote.
A spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee didn’t reply to Fox News’ request for remark.
In the committee’s ultimate document entitled “Human Fetal Tissue Research: Context and Controversy” printed in December 2016, Grassley referred Planned Parenthood and different suppliers to the FBI for investigation.
Grassley mentioned on the time that the committee has found out sufficient proof that presentations how abortion suppliers had transferred fetal tissue and frame portions from aborted fetuses for analysis by charging quantities upper than they if truth be told price.
“The report documents the failure of the Department of Justice, across multiple administrations, to enforce the law that bans the buying and selling of human fetal tissue,” Grassley wrote ultimate December urging the Justice Department and FBI to analyze. “It also documents substantial evidence suggesting that the specific entities involved in the recent controversy, and/or individuals employed by those entities, may have violated that law.”
The now-federal investigation comes after a 2015 undercover investigation by activists David Daleiden, chief of the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, and Sandra Merritt, an worker of the gang, who each posed as fetal researchers and made undercover movies of themselves making an attempt to shop for fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood.
The recorded conversations incorporated officers from Planned Parenthood and StemExpress, a California corporate that gives blood, tissue and different organic subject matter for scientific analysis and has won fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood, on the time, strongly rejected accusations it violated any legislation or acted unethically. The team additionally “strongly” disagreed with Grassley’s suggestions to refer the subject to the Justice Department “especially in light of the fact that the investigations by three other Congressional committees, and investigations in 13 states including a Grand Jury in Texas, have all shown that Planned Parenthood did nothing wrong.”
The federal investigation by the Trump management will reopen the years-long debate on whether or not Planned Parenthood and different suppliers violated the legislation with the unlawful sale of frame portions.
Fox News’ Perry Chiaramonte contributed to this document.