Kane Hints at Conspiracy in No-Questions Press Conference

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Attorney General Kathleen Kane called on a Pennsylvania judge to release the full trove of documents from the so-called “Porngate” scandal, saying complete disclosure of those files was essential to her defense on charges she leaked secret grand jury material.

“I do that not as part of some vendetta, but to tell the whole story, the story that is critical to my defense against these charges,” she said Wednesday.

Kane made the call as part of a short news conference (watch below) in which she took no questions — and in fact, presented no real defense of herself against the charges, instead suggesting that a cabal of “boys club” officials were trying to silence her and prevent the emergence of emails that she said were pornographic, racially insensitive and religiously bigoted.

“I’m sure, at this moment, as I stand under charges … these individuals believe they’re on the precipice of their ultimate goal” to end the possibility of being exposed in the scandal, Kane said. Read more »

No, Kathleen Kane Scandal Is Not a “Blow to Women”

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Let’s get one thing straight very quickly: Kathleen Kane‘s indictment on charges she leaked secret grand jury materials is a shame, an embarrassment to a state that has no shortage of reasons to be embarrassed, and just plain bad.

But none of that has anything to do with her gender.

Obvious, right? But this is Pennsylvania, where Kane is just one of two women we’ve ever elected to statewide office and where no women are currently in Congress, which means that females who can win a few votes — bizarrely in 2015 — are pioneers in their field, and thus judged not on their own performances, but on how well they represent their underrepresented group.

Which in means we end up with stories where Sen. Pat Vance, a Republican woman with 40 years of electoral politics under her belt, laments about Kane: “I felt very badly when she was charged, even though we’re not in the same political party, because it’s such a blow to women.”

Understandable. And wrong. Read more »

Report: Lynne Abraham Interested in A.G. Job

Kane - Abraham

Kathleen Kane, left. Lynne Abraham, Right.

Former Philadelphia D.A. Lynne Abraham is reportedly interested in replacing Attorney General Kathleen Kane if Kane is forced to give up her seat while she faces criminal charges for leaking grand jury material.

“According to a source with knowledge of the situation,” PoliticsPA reports, “Abraham believes she can be an effective placeholder until Jan. 2017. Several of the people she worked with in Philly are now in the AG’s office and she briefly considered a run back in 2012. PoliticsPA has also learned that Abraham has secured the commitment of Congressman, and Philadelphia Democratic Party Chair, Bob Brady.

Abraham was not immediately available to comment, nor was a spokesperson for Brady.

Read more »

Will Josh Shapiro Run for AG?

Josh Shapiro, courtesty his Flickr feed.

Josh Shapiro, courtesty his Flickr feed.

Yes, she’s been indicted, and no, Kathleen Kane has no plans to step down as Pennsylvania’s attorney general — even though Gov. Tom Wolf and a few other high-ranking state officials would really like her to.

But thoughts in Harrisburg have already turned to who might replace Kane, anyway, and the speculation seems to be settling along two lines:

• Who might replace Kane as the Democratic nominee for A.G. in the next election.

• Who might replace her right away if she is forced to step down.

The first question, at least, has one very likely answer: Josh Shapiro, chairman of the Montgomery County Commission, is expected to have interest in the office.

“Winning re-election is a stretch if she runs and her indictment will certainly encourage other candidates to challenge her,” says StandardSpeaker.com. “Democratic former state Rep. Josh Shapiro — a county commissioner in Montgomery County, where Kane is charged — has put out feelers about running for months as the investigation of Kane progressed.” Read more »

Criminal Charges Brought Against Kathleen Kane; Wolf Says She Should Step Down

Risa Vetri Ferman discusses charges against Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

Risa Vetri Ferman discusses charges against Attorney General Kathleen Kane. | 6ABC

[UPDATE, 1:20 P.M.] Governor Tom Wolf is calling on Kathleen Kane to step down as attorney general in the wake of this mornings charges against her. While he makes clear that “she is entitled to due process,” he does not believe she can do her job while facing what he calls “these serious charges.”

Here is the full text of Wolf’s statement:

“In this criminal complaint, Attorney General Kathleen Kane was charged with official oppression; she was charged with obstruction of administration of law; she was charged with perjury. These are the charges and there are other serious charges, and they are troubling. And, I am not sure how the top law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania can continue to perform her duties while she is defending herself against these serious charges. They are serious.

“She is entitled to her day in court. She is entitled to due process under our system of government and law, and she will have time to defend herself, and I think she needs to do that.

“But in the meantime, I am calling on her to step aside, step down as attorney general, because I think she cannot do what she has to do as the top law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania while she’s facing these serious charges.”

[ORIGINAL, 11:43 A.M.] Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been changed with criminal offenses stemming from her leak of grand jury information, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced this morning.

“This is a sad day for the citizens of Pennsylvania, and a sad day for all of us in law enforcement,” Ferman said in announcing the charges.”When someone is entrusted with upholding the law violates that law, we are all victims, every one of us.”

Ferman added: “No one is above the law, not even the chief law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Read more »

How Kathleen Kane Fooled the Press

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Republicans who control both the Senate and House picked up additional seats in the November election. In the House, Republicans outnumber Democrats 119 to 84 and in the Senate, 30 to 20. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

There are few stories I regret writing more in my 18-year career as a professional journalist than this sycophantic 2013 profile of Kathleen Kane.

Take this tidbit:

“I don’t back down from anything,” she says at lunch. This West Side [of Scranton] toughness, wrapped up in a charming package, is a big part of the reason Kane has made such an impression both in Harrisburg and on voters. At 47, she’s confident but not-quite-cocky, and her tone (more than her actual agenda) is candid and bracing.

Kane has managed to create a sense that she’s the only one out there actually doing, while the rest of the political class stands still. And she has — perhaps intentionally, perhaps not — tapped into the fathoms-deep well of disgust that so many Pennsylvanians feel for the retrograde crew running the state. What Kane has come to represent — through her decisiveness, her biography and, yes, her gender — is an alternative to Pennsylvania’s go-slow status quo. You look at Kane and think: Maybe, just maybe, things could be different around here after all.

Ha. Haaaaaaaaaa. “Different.” Well, things are different, inasmuch as Kane’s brand of alleged corruption isn’t quite as venal as is the norm in Harrisburg. Kane’s failings are more Nixonian in nature: The enemies; the paranoia; the reported surveillance of suspect employees, the firing of a whistleblower. Read more »

Kane Camp Begins Her Defense

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Kathleen Kane’s camp spent Wednesday night trying to get ahead of reports that she’ll be charged today with leaking secret grand jury materials.

“As word spread of possible charges Wednesday, staffers for Attorney General Kathleen Kane notified Gov. Tom Wolf and key leaders in the General Assembly that an announcement may be imminent,” PennLive reports. “Chuck Ardo, Kane’s communications director, said he recommended making the calls because it was ‘the responsible thing to do’ based on the intensity of the rumors.”

“We don’t know any specifics,” he told PennLive. “We just know that the rumor has been rampant and it seems to be well founded and we thought that the leadership and the administration ought to know. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to them.” Read more »

Reports: Kathleen Kane Could be Charged Thursday

Kathleen Kane

After months of speculation and waiting, TribLive is reporting that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is expected be charged on Thursday with crimes stemming from her leak of grand jury information to a Philadelphia newspaper. 6ABC reports the same from its own sources.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman has been weighing a grand jury’s recommendation that Kane be charged. “The grand jury said Kane lied in testimony before the panel and tried to cover up her actions,” TribLive reported. “It recommended charging her with perjury, criminal contempt, obstruction of justice and official oppression.”

Read more »

Report: Court Could Remove Kane From Office

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Republicans who control both the Senate and House picked up additional seats in the November election. In the House, Republicans outnumber Democrats 119 to 84 and in the Senate, 30 to 20. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has vowed to stay in her job even if — as is expected — she is indicted on charges she leaked secret grand jury information. But a new report suggests that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court could choose to remove her from office if charges are filed.

TribLive’s Brad Bumsted reports: “A little-known emergency valve in rules governing attorney conduct would allow the state Supreme Court, upon request, to suspend the license of a lawyer suspected of ‘egregious conduct.’ That could remove Kane from office because the state constitution says the attorney general must be an attorney, said Ernie Preate, former attorney general from Kane’s hometown of Scranton.” Read more »

Kane: Won’t Resign if Charged

Kathleen Kane. AP | Bradley C. Bower

Kathleen Kane. AP | Bradley C. Bower

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Tuesday she will not resign if criminal charges are brought against her over accusations she leaked secret grand jury testimony.

“For the past 13 months, I have been carrying on,” Kane said. “I will handle it and continue to do my job.” Read more »

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