BREAKING: Oversight Committee Chairman Admits on National Television He Has No Evidence Planned Parenthood Violated Any Laws
Washington D.C. (Sept. 30, 2015)—During an appearance tonight on CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform who is currently leading the investigation of Planned Parenthood, admitted that he has identified no evidence that Planned Parenthood has violated any laws:
Blitzer: “Is there any evidence in your opinion that Planned Parenthood has broken any law?”
Chaffetz: “No, I’m not suggesting that they broke the law.”
This stark admission directly contradicts allegations from numerous Republicans—including House Speaker John Boehner—that Planned Parenthood engaged in the sale of fetal tissue for profit in violation of federal law.
It also severely undermines any remaining Republican case for establishing a new “select committee” to investigate Planned Parenthood.
During his interview, Chaffetz also continued to defend a highly misleading chart he used during a Committee hearing yesterday with Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, who answered questions for nearly five hours and debunked numerous Republican allegations.
Chaffetz also defended his decision to invite Richards to testify while rejecting a request by all 18 Committee Democrats to invite David Daleiden—the individual who released highly edited and misleading video tapes—by stating that the hearing was not about the videos:
Blitzer: “So why bring her before the committee—before you have a thorough investigation of the actual video that resulted in all of this?”
Chaffetz: “Because it wasn't a hearing about the videos. The hearing was about the funding of Planned Parenthood which was very germane to the discussion we’re having about funding of the government.”
This claim is directly contradicted by the briefing memo Chaffetz sent to Committee Members for the hearing, which referenced the “disturbing content of these videos” on the very first page:
“Recently released videos demonstrate Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) participates in transactions involving transferring fetal tissue for remuneration. The disturbing content of these videos raises questions about PPFA’s use of taxpayer funding.”