Kathleen Kane Says Her Sister’s Emails Aren’t That Bad — Here’s Why She’s Wrong

If Pa. AG Kathleen Kane's sister's emails don't "meet the same standard of offense" as others sent by state workers, why did she use a similar one as an example of hateful email?

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, center, accompanied by with her twin sister, Ellen Granahan, left, departs after her preliminary hearing Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown, Pa. Kane is accused of leaking secret grand jury information to the press, lying under oath and ordering aides to illegally snoop through computer files to keep tabs on an investigation into the leak.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, in red, accompanied by with her twin sister, Ellen Granahan, left, departs after her preliminary hearing Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown, Pa.

Earlier this month, I attended a unique press conference at the National Constitution Center. (Clearly, this is what was envisioned when this museum was opened.) Ostensibly, it was a presser where Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane introduced Doug Gansler, the former Maryland AG who she was appointing as a special prosecutor to investigate the scandal that’s been dubbed “porngate.”

But it was also a way for Kane — who has been indicted for perjury and conspiracy related to allegedly leaking grand jury info in a tangential scandal — to advance her view: She was being targeted by an old-boys club in Pennsylvania government that wanted to knock down a successful woman who had infiltrated their party.

To prove this point, Kane showed a slideshow of images from emails discovered on state email servers. They were pretty heinous. The first was a series of images mocking the garb of attendees at what appeared to be an African-American high school’s prom or college fraternity formal. (One dude and his date were in matching Allen Iverson Sixers jersey formalwear, and I’m now disappointed I didn’t wear this to my senior prom. Why anyone would mock this is beyond me.) It then progressed to some offensive motivational posters and some straight-up porn.

This week, a new wrinkle was inserted into the case: After State Rep. Louise Williams Bishop pleaded no contest in a case stemming from the “abandoned sting” case dropped by Kane and picked up by Philadelphia DA Seth Williams, prosecutor Mark Gilson said Kane’s twin sister Ellen Granahan was also a recipient and sender of offensive emails on state servers.

Kane said she wouldn’t discipline her sister. “As a whole, they don’t meet the same standard of offense,” her spokesman Chuck Ardo said.

Obviously, Kane doesn’t want to punish her sister. But it’s hard to believe at least one of Granahan’s emails doesn’t meet the same standard as the ones Kane has crusaded against: One of Granahan’s released emails is essentially the same woman-beating joke that Kane showed on a giant screen at the Constitution Center as an example of the hateful emails sent around by state government workers.

Kane released her sister’s emails after Gilson made his comment. One of them was a faux motivational poster showing a woman with a black eye. The caption: “Domestic Violence: Because sometimes, you have to tell her more than once.” This is not any different at all, really, than the email she showed on at the Constitution Center: “Irish Sunglasses: Free pair when you forget dinner.”

Kathleen Kane - Irish Sunglasses porngate email

Kathleen Kane showed this image at the Constitution Center last month, saying it was from the hateful and offensive series of emails in the “porngate” scandal. One of her sister’s emails contained essentially the same joke.

If Kane’s sister’s emails “don’t meet the same standard” as the offensive ones Kane is crusading against, why did Kane use as an example of the hateful “jokes” sent around by state employees one that is essentially no different from one of her sister’s email forwards?

Kane’s sister sent 58 emails, reports say. Perhaps the rest are not as bad as the black eye one. But if Kane wants to be consistent, she ought to stop using the same joke from her sister’s emails as an example of what she also calls “hategate.”

Follow @dhm on Twitter.