Read backstory here.

From Legal Times this afternoon:

Planned Parenthood has retained lawyers from Hogan Lovells as it prepares to respond to a sweeping new inquiry into how the organization and its affiliates use federal money….

[Congressman Cliff] Stearns’ [House Energy & Commerce] subcommittee is one of the most active congressional panels for conducting investigations, and corporations and organizations that are in the subcommittee’s crosshairs often look to outside help…. 

Working on the matter for Planned Parenthood are Hogan Lovells partner E. Desmond Hogan and of counsel Reid Stuntz. Both lawyers have experience in congressional investigations, and Stuntz is a former chief counsel on the oversight subcommittee under then-Chairman John Dingell (D-MI), according to his firm profile.

The situation is unique for PP. Although it has been drawn into other Capitol Hill inquiries in the past, it has never before been a target and Stearns’ letter makes clear that it is. “This is the first time someone has said, ‘I’m going to investigate the organization,’ ” said Roger Evans, the director of public policy litigation for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a phone interview today.

Stearns initially asked PP to turn over documents by Sept. 29, but Evans said he and the subcommittee have agreed on a two-week extension. The subcommittee is asking for copies of audits from as early as 1991, related documents about funding and information about how Planned Parenthood detects possible criminal conduct such as sex trafficking.

This may be the first time PP has been investigated by Congress but certainly not the first time PP has been investigated – and found guilty. In fact, the House’s investigation is way overdue.


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