Catholic Abuse Survivors: Kamala Harris ‘Chose Not to Prosecute a Single Abusive Priest’

Sen. Kamala Harris waits for the program to start at the funeral service for the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Thursday, July 30, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)
Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool

The executive director of a national network of survivors of sexual abuse by priests said in a statement sent to Breitbart News that then-District Attorney Kamala Harris (D-CA) “chose to ignore an opportunity” to investigate priests in San Francisco for abusing children.

Zach Hiner, the executive director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), corroborated the bombshell details about Harris revealed by Breitbart News Senior Contributor Peter Schweizer in his book Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite.

Linking to a video by The Intercept that profiles Harris’s conduct as San Francisco’s district attorney, Hiner said:

Senator Kamala Harris, as the District Attorney of San Francisco, chose to ignore an opportunity in 2004 to continue the work of her predecessor, Terence Hallinan, who was compiling dossiers about abuse in the Archdiocese of San Francisco with the intention of investigating and cracking down on that archdiocese. Despite the work that Hallinan had done, when Harris assumed office she stopped cooperating with victims and chose not to prosecute a single abusive priest.

WARNING: Graphic Video

Schweizer, the president of the Government Accountability Institute, exposed in his book that, during her 13-year tenure as district attorney and then attorney general, Harris failed to prosecute even one case of priest sexual abuse, though during that same period, at least 50 major cities had brought charges against priests identified as pedophiles.

The author detailed that while Harris’s predecessor, former San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan, had launched an aggressive investigation into priests of the Archdiocese of San Francisco accused of sexual abuse, Harris’s campaign to unseat Hallinan showed an unusual influx of unparalleled donations from high-level officials of the Catholic Church.

In addition to campaign donations from multiple law firms defending San Francisco priests against abuse claims, Schweizer observed that “board members of San Francisco Catholic archdiocese-related organizations and their family members donated another $50,950 to Harris’s campaign.”

As Schweizer noted, Harris’s ties to those working to block exposure of the archdiocese’s secret documents containing information about priests accused of sexual abuse were extensive.

Hiner continued:

Later, as Attorney General, Senator Harris was silent about advocating for clergy abuse victims, surely in part because her boss, Jerry Brown, expressed his disdain for windows of justice that involved his church — he was a Jesuit Seminarian.

Not surprisingly, with no crackdown, San Francisco remains one of the last few archdioceses in the nation to refuse to provide a list of abusers. We believe that the San Francisco list would contain hundreds of names of sexual predators who are yet publicly unknown, leaving communities in California unprotected. Had Hallinan’s policies been pursued, that list would likely already be published, with crucial information that would safeguard the community and help victims heal.

SNAP’s executive director, however, expressed praise for Harris’s successor as California attorney general, Xavier Becerra (D), and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). He said Becerra has “opened a statewide investigation into Catholic Church practices and has ordered all California bishops to preserve sex abuse files.”

Hiner added Newsom “signed into law a three-year ‘window of justice’ that already has attracted hundreds of lawsuits that name predators and enablers, known and unknown.”

“These are monumentally positive moves for victims of clergy abuse and all citizens,” he said. “When predators are named, parents can protect their kids. We believe that what Becerra, Newsom, and the California legislature have done should be replicated nationwide.”

“It is clear that survivors from San Francisco who tried to work with Kamala’s office feel like they were betrayed and hung out to dry,” Hiner added. “Survivors today can look to the work done by AG Xavier Becerra and feel more confident that their top law enforcement official cares about ending the scourge of child sexual abuse, and we hope that Kamala learns from his example.”

As a guest on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily on Thursday with host Alex Marlow, Schweizer noted that victims’ rights groups condemned Harris’s cover-up of the documents detailing allegations of sexual abuse against priests.

“The victims’ rights groups snapped,” Schweizer remarked. “Some of the … groups went absolutely ballistic, and you can understand why. Kamala Harris claimed that she sealed those records to protect victims. The victims call that outrageous and wrong.”

Schweizer pointed out former Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) alma mater, Saint Ignatius Prep, was one of the “elite-connected” institutions whose supporters contributed to Harris’s campaigns.

“That school has also educated several generations of the Getty family, the very wealthy family that made its money in oil,” he also said, as Marlow observed Newsom’s father served as general counsel for Getty Oil.

“Gavin Newsom is also very passionately supportive of this school,” Schweizer said as well. “Members of the Getty family sit on the school’s board of directors, and, of course, the Getty family were huge backers of Kamala Harris’s run for this office.”

“Once Kamala Harris took that position as San Francisco [district] attorney, these victims were completely shut out by and all cooperation ended,” the author said. “This is a story that needs attention. It demands her being asked about it and her answering questions about it.”

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