Kane Camp Begins Her Defense

Charges are expected today against Pennsylvania attorney general.


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.”

Montgomery County D.A. Risa Vetri Ferman has spent recent months reviewing a grand jury recommendation that Kane be charged. 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.)

“All I can tell you is that she believes that what she authorized, the material that she authorized to be released, was not covered by any grand jury secrecy,” Ardo told NBC10 this week. “I mean, after all, the grand jury had been dissolved for five years.”
It’s possible Kane may face additional charges, the Morning Call notes: “Ferman also was asked by a state court to determine whether Kane should be held in contempt for firing a chief deputy, James Barker. His dismissal came after a judge barred retaliation against any grand jury witnesses.

“Kane has acknowledged releasing some information related to the Mondesire inquiry, but has said repeatedly that she did so lawfully,” adds the Inquirer. “She has said she believes the leak investigation was concocted by Republican men angry at her for shaking up the status quo in the Attorney General’s Office.”

If charges do indeed materialize today, Ardo said, they will not e followed by a resignation. Her position is that she believes she has done nothing wrong and that a resignation would be an admission of guilt,” Ardo told PennLive.

This spring, Philly Mag’s Robert Huber profiled Kane’s rise from unknown mid-state lawyer to the state’s first female attorney general and subsequent decline into scandal.