The Department of Justice is investigating Planned Parenthood over the sale of fetal tissue.
Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd requested the Senate Judiciary Committee turn over unredacted documents they obtained during their own past investigations into the abortion provider, Fox News reports.
"The Department of Justice appreciates the offer of assistance in obtaining these materials, and would like to request the Committee provide unredacted copies of records contained in the report, in order to further the Department’s ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of that report based on the full range of information available," Boyd wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Judiciary Committee's investigation culminated in a 2016 report titled "Human Fetal Tissue Research: Context and Controversy." In the report, Grassley referred Planned Parenthood and other providers to the FBI for investigation.
The committee chairman also said at the time that the investigation revealed abortion providers were breaking a law that bans the buying and selling of human fetal tissue.
Grassley said at the time that the committee has discovered enough evidence that shows how abortion providers had transferred fetal tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses for research by charging amounts higher than they actually cost.
"The report documents the failure of the Department of Justice, across multiple administrations, to enforce the law that bans the buying and selling of human fetal tissue," Grassley wrote last December urging the Justice Department and FBI to investigate. "It also documents substantial evidence suggesting that the specific entities involved in the recent controversy, and/or individuals employed by those entities, may have violated that law."
While the DOJ first requested the documents last month, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) requested a letter be sent to assure the documents would be used for investigative purposes.
The letter is a rare confirmation by the Justice Department of a federal investigation.
Many specifics of the investigation are unknown, but the investigation might be related to the prices Planned Parenthood charged for remains from aborted fetuses.
The investigations follow undercover footage obtained by David Daleiden, the founder and lead investigator of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), who made headlines in 2015 for recording secret videos of Planned Parenthood employees discussing fetal tissue sales. Two of Planned Parenthood's top partners, DV Biologics and its sister company Da Vinci Biosciences, were charged in 2016 with raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal profits derived from the sale of tissue derived from aborted fetuses.