Here’s the Just-Unsealed Grand Jury Report on Kathleen Kane
A Montgomery County judge today released a grand jury report that recommends Attorney General Kathleen Kane face charges in the leaking of documents from an earlier grand jury investigation.
“We find that the testimony of Attorney General Kane was not an honest account of the events, and she mischaracterized events to cover-up activities undertaken at her direction to unlawfully release documents subject to grand jury secrecy,” the grand jury said in its presentment, dated December 19, 2014. (See the full document below.)
The grand jury recommended she face charges of perjury, false swearing, abuse of office, obstruction of the law, and contempt of court.
The grand jury found Kane leaked documents about a 2009 investigation of Jerry Mondesire, then the head of the Philadelphia NAACP, through a political operative to then-Daily News reporter Chris Brennan. No charges came of the investigation, but details of the investigation were revealed in a Brennan-authored story for the Daily News on June 6, 2014. (Brennan has since moved to the Inquirer.) The document was redacted of all but two prosecutor names — one being Frank Fina, a former member of the attorney general’s office (he moved to the office of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams) with whom Kane had been feuding.
Kane leaked the info despite being warned ahead of time by staffers that release of the 2009 grand jury information was probably illegal and violated grand jury rules, the grand jury found.
“I fail to see how we can legally give … access to any (Office of the Attorney General) criminal division file materials,” former first assistant attorney general Adrian King Jr. reportedly told Kane in an email.
Kane’s emailed response, according to the grand jury: “I am well aware of the limitations of disclosing criminal files. … I have been in this business for quite some time.”
And Kane lied, the grand jury found, when she testified to them she was unaware of the 2009 grand jury document until it was mentioned in the newspaper.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman must still decide whether to pursue the charges recommended by the grand jury. The report was made public today after Montgomery County judges heard arguments about whether Kane should be held in contempt of court for firing an aide who testified against her before the grand jury. A protective order supposedly barred such actions.
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