Lawmakers Condemn ‘Dangerous Abuse Of Subpoena Powers’ By GOP Panel

Only April 28, nearly 100 lawmakers sent a letter to Marsha Blackburn, Chairman of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. The letter condemns the panel’s use of intimidation tactics against “researchers, graduate students, laboratory technicians and administrative personnel,” through what lawmaker’s describe as a dangerous misuse subpoena powers.

The panel was created by Republicans in October 2015, after the bogus Center For Medical Progress released a series of highly edited videos online. While the group claimed that the videos showed officials from Planned Parenthood conspiring to sell fetal body parts, the video transcripts (which you can read here) tell an entirely different story.

Multiple investigations have cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing in association with the video. If that’s enough, in January a Texas Grand Jury indicted two of the key players involved in creating the bogus videos, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, on felony charges.

But facts are rarely allowed to get in the way of republican extremists, who continue to use the long-debunked videos as a way to push their anti-abortion agenda across the country.

According to the 98 lawmakers who recently signed the letter to the Select Investigative Panel, members of the panel have moved beyond the point of repeating dangerous and false rhetoric about Planned Parenthood, launching a witch hunt which targets medical researchers, medical supply companies, students and others involved in fetal tissue research.

The letter reads, in part:

We are particularly concerned by the recent reports that the select panel has issued 11 subpoenas to medical supply companies and laboratories that will seek the names of researchers, graduate students, laboratory technicians and administrative personnel involved with fetal tissue research. The misuse of subpoena power is clearly aimed at not only stopping the crucial medical research, but personally intimidating the scientists who are engaged in this lifesaving work.

The 98 members who signed the document strongly condemned the “dangerous tactics” employed by the panel, calling for it to be immediately dissolved.

The letter goes on to rip republican lawmakers, saying:

“This body has spent more than enough taxpayer money doing the bidding of the Republican Congressional Committee. It is clear that this Panel serves no other purpose than to carry out politically-motivated attacks on Planned Parenthood.”

Not only is it insane that Republicans in Congress continue to waste taxpayer resources investigating these debunked videos, but it’s reprehensible that they would use their positions as elected officials to intimidate and harass scientists, researchers and others, for their own political gain.

Here are the names of the eight members of Congress who make up the investigative panel:

  • Marsha Blackburn, Chairman (R-TN)
  • Joe Pitts (R-PA)
  • Diane Black (R-TN)
  • Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
  • Sean Duffy (R-WI)
  • Andy Harris (R-MD)
  • Vicki Hartzler (R-MO)
  • Rep. Mia Love (R-UT)

Vote them out in November.


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