Tiller Record Summaries
Kline is accused of lying to the court when discussing record summaries in his possession.
Hazlett claims that Kline intended to lie because he only mentioned three record summaries in response to an improper question.
In 2007 Kline was ordered to appear in a secret trial before Judge David King by J. Beier and the Kansas Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood and Attorney General Paul Morrison were suing Kline because of his criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood.
Kline was put on the witness stand, and surprisingly Planned Parenthood’s attorney asked whether he had summaries of Dr. Tiller’s files. At the time, Kline’s office had 63 summaries of Tiller files, but they were part of a separate investigation and the question about Dr. Tiller was irrelevant to a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood.
Kline did not believe he had to answer the question. Accordingly, he began to discuss three summaries that were relevant to Planned Parenthood, and then invoked “executive privilege.” Executive privilege is a legal claim allowing the person invoking the privilege to refuse to answer questions.
In response, Judge King immediately stopped the proceeding and met with Kline privately. After the meeting, Judge King ruled that Kline was right. Kline was not required to answer any more questions regarding the Tiller summaries.
Ultimately, Kline’s investigation of Dr. Tiller was blocked by the same Attorney General Paul Morrison. Morrison repeatedly refused to assist Kline, and the Tiller investigation finally ended when Morrison refused to proceed with it.
About one year after the secret trial before Judge King, Kline was ordered to speak before the Kansas Supreme Court. He was given no prior notice or time to prepare, and was working full time as the District Attorney for Johnson County. When asked if he still had Tiller summaries, Kline responded honestly, “I don’t believe that I do. ”
Hazlett claims this was a lie.
In fact, Kline’s statement was not a lie, but it is an example of political players going after him. J. Beier knew Kline had Tiller record summaries before she asked the question. Kline had informed her that his office had Tiller summaries in filed responses to her questions, and also during the secret trial.
Accordingly, J. Beier knew that Kline had summaries and never ruled he couldn’t possess the summaries. In fact, J. Beier’s opinion in the case rules that Kline had a right to have the summaries .
Moreover, when Kline later discovered his office still had Tiller summaries, he immediately called Judge Anderson and told him that his office had the summaries. Anderson refused to order that Kline give them up.
Burden of Proof
For Hazlett to prevail on this claim he must prove that Kline made a “knowingly false” statement of “material fact.” He fails on both counts.
- Kline’s statement before King was true and the number of summaries was not material.
- Kline’s statement a year later before J. Beier that he “didn’t think” he still had summaries was also true, and it was not material.