Kane Hints at Conspiracy in No-Questions Press Conference
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.
The so-called “Porngate” scandal has already embarrassed a number of high-profile Pennsylvania officials, some of whom lost their jobs. The scandal originated in the office of attorney general under Kane’s predecessor, Tom Corbett, who went on to serve as governor. While reviewing Corbett’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky case, Kane’s investigators discovered a number of pornographic emails that had been traded among members of Corbett’s staff and the Pennsylvania judicial branch.
Harrisburg’s racy email scandal helped spark the retirement of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery and cost several other high-ranking state officials their jobs. It probably didn’t help outgoing Gov. Corbett keep his position, either. But it’s wasn’t just the men in the bright lights who exchanged the explicit messages: Kane in November let it be known that 8 percent of her agency’s employees have been disciplined for participating in the email swap.
Kane on Wednesday said she was calling on Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter to release the full trove of emails and to remove any protective orders associated with it, saying the information was essential to her defense. If the order is granted, she told journalists, she will hold another press conference — and this time answer questions.
“My defense will be that I broke no laws of the commonwealth, period,” she said.
Kane finished by reiterating her pledge not to resign, saying her office had arrested 247 child predators in the months she’d supposedly been “distracted” by the possibility of prosecution. “Pennsylvania is safer now than it has ever been,” she said, and added: “Maybe more public employees need to be distracted.”
It was Kane’s first public appearance since being charged last week. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for August 24th.
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