During a special edition of Fox News' "The Kelly File" featuring a town hall for Republican presidential candidates Wednesday evening, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was asked if, as president, he would pardon the filmmakers behind the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood executives appearing to negotiate the sale of aborted baby parts should their case become federal.
“Yes,” Cruz replied.
“As a Texan, as a Houstonian, I was deeply dismayed and disappointed to see the Harris County district attorney bringing criminal charges against someone who went undercover to expose what appears to be vast criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood,” Cruz said.
In January, a Harris County grand jury indicted David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, and Sandra Susan Merritt for their roles in the release of the videos. Both Daleiden and Merritt were indicted for tampering with a governmental record, and Daleiden was additionally indicted for prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs.
“I think he performed an incredible public service,” Cruz added.
"And I'll tell you this, I've pledged, if I'm elected president, on the very first day in office, I intend to instruct the U.S. Department of Justice to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and to prosecute any and all criminal conduct by that organization," he continued.
Host Megyn Kelly asked Cruz about Donald Trump’s recent assertion that Planned Parenthood “does wonderful things.”
"I don't think a criminal enterprise taking the lives of millions of unborn children is wonderful in any way, shape or form, and I don't think they should get federal taxpayer dollars," Cruz said.
Cruz said that Planned Parenthood “is the nation's largest abortionist,” and that “millions of unborn boys and girls have never breathed a breath of air because of Planned Parenthood.”
"And you know what these videos showed? It is a federal criminal offense, it's a felony, to sell the body parts of unborn children for profit,” Cruz said. “These videos showed Planned Parenthood, by all appearances, doing that. It appears Planned Parenthood is a national criminal enterprise, committing multiple felonies. Now, the Obama Justice Department is so partisan and politicized, they won't investigate it.”
"And I gotta say, anyone that in light of that on national television rhapsodizes about how wonderful they think Planned Parenthood is ... listen, we're going to have to respectfully disagree,” he added.
Kelly noted that Planned Parenthood denies the allegations and is currently facing no criminal charges. The organization is facing several state and congressional investigations as a result of the videos.
A President Cruz would only be able to pardon Daleiden and Merritt if they were convicted in a federal court.
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