National Partnership for Women & Families

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House Committee To Review Hundreds of Hours of Unedited CMP Footage

House Committee To Review Hundreds of Hours of Unedited CMP Footage

October 16, 2015 — The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday said it received 800 gigabytes of data it subpoenaed from the antiabortion-rights group Center for Medical Progress and will view the materials in a closed-door meeting room, The Hill reports (Ferris, The Hill, 10/14).

Background

Earlier this year, Judge William Orrick of the Northern District of California issued a temporary restraining order against CMP after the National Abortion Federation filed a lawsuit against the organization. The order blocks CMP from releasing any of its secretly recorded video footage of NAF's annual meetings in 2014 and 2015, as well as from releasing dates of NAF's future meetings and the names and addresses of NAF members.

Meanwhile, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena to obtain the footage, as well as footage CMP secretly recorded of Planned Parenthood officials.

Earlier this month, Orrick said he would not block CMP from responding to the subpoena. However, a temporary restraining order barring the videos from being released publicly is still in effect.

NAF said under Orrick's order, CMP must provide NAF with copies of what it will give to Congress before giving it to Congress (Women's Health Policy Report, 10/7).

Closed-Door Screenings

Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said members and staff will view the subpoenaed material in a private screening room. He said the material will not be made public "out of an abundance of caution to ensure the safety and security of all individuals recorded."

James Owen, spokesperson for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), expressed concern about how the material was being shared. "Chaffetz setting up a DIY movie theater in his office is not the same as complying by the terms of the subpoena, which explicitly requires that copies of the hard drives be provided to committee Democrats," Owen said.

Meanwhile, Eric Ferrero, vice president of communication at Planned Parenthood, said not all the data have been made available. "In the past, [CMP leader] David Daleiden has said that he has multiple terabytes of video footage, and today it was announced that Congress has received 800 gigabytes of data," he said, adding, "Where's the rest?" (The Hill, 10/14).