[Update 10:30 a.m.] Well, you don’t see this every day in politics. Yes, a politician will make an explosive statement, only to have a spokesperson walk that statement back. But it’s rare you then see the walkback itself walked back. So it’s a pretty nifty trick Kathleen Kane’s office has just pulled.
What has happened: Kane spokeswoman Renee Martin is now withdrawing her Wednesday statement that racy emails at the heart of the recent Harrisburg scandal do not constitute child pornography. Martin made that statement in the aftermath of Kane’s Tuesday CNN interview asserting that some of the emails contained images of children.
Here’s the full statement from Martin, as sent out in a press release this morning:
Statement from Renee Martin, spokesperson for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane
“When I said that the Pennsylvania Attorney General has decided not to prosecute regarding the emails as pornography, including depictions of children contained in some emails, I misspoke.”
In fact, the Attorney General has not made a decision one way or the other in light of the recent published opinion of the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that the emails he had seen were “clearly pornographic” and may be criminal. As a result of the issuance of a court order, the Attorney General cannot explain her views on the status of these emails, as she explained in a public statement she read prior to her testimony before the Grand Jury on Monday and on CNN on Tuesday night.
Prior to her grand jury testimony this week, Kane said publicly: “However, due to continuous, even overlapping court orders since last March, I am not allowed to explain why I am testifying or what my testimony has to do with the release of the pornographic emails under the Right to Know Law. These court orders also expose me to legal risk if I do my job as Attorney General that I was elected and trusted by the people of Pennsylvania to do. I am not allowed at this time to explain why.”
In other words: It may be awhile before this web is untangled.
[Original 6:12 a.m.] On Tuesday, Attorney General Kathleen Kane told a national audience — or, CNN’s audience, anyway — that racy emails discovered during the recent Harrisburg scandal included depictions of children. “Deplorable,” she said.