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Politics & Government

PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane Charged In Grand Jury Leak

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AP Photo/Matt Rourke
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Attorney General Kathleen Kane

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane was charged Thursday for leaking secret grand jury information to seek revenge on her rivals and then lying about it to a separate investigating grand jury.

Kane faces charges of obstruction, official oppression, perjury, criminal conspiracy, and false swearing but says she will not resign despite a call from the governor’s office to do so.  Kane says to resign is to admit guilt, and she is not guilty.

“I remain committed to leading the Office of Attorney General and doing the job the citizens of this Commonwealth elected me to do,” said Kane.

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Credit AP Photo/Matt Rourke
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Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman speaks during a news conference Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Norristown, Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane was charged Thursday with leaking secret grand jury information and lying about her actions under oath.

Gov. Tom Wolf said, “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.”

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said Kane waged her own, personal “war” on former state prosecutors she thought had tarnished her public image.  

“This was her war based upon the evidence conducted without regard to the rules, without regard to the law, and without regard to any damage the battle might entail,” said Ferman. “Our actions here today make one thing crystal clear, beyond any doubt – that no one is above the law, not even the chief law enforcement officer of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

The announcement comes roughly eight months after a grand jury recommended charges in connection with allegations that the attorney general leaked protected information from a 2009 investigation in what witness said was an attempt to embarrass critics.

Ferman said Kane would be arraigned within two days at a public hearing.

Kane’s driver, special agent Patrick R. Reese, was also charged with indirect criminal conspiracy for allegedly accessing secret grand jury material on her behalf. 

“It is clear from the evidence we gathered that while the attorney general orchestrated this scheme and directed the scheme that she did not herself compile the materials and deliver them to Mr. Morrow,” said Ferman, referring to Josh Morrow, who ran Kane’s 2012 campaign for attorney general.

Kane was not charged in connection to April firing of an employee who testified against her before a grand jury, but more charges could be in the offing. Ferman said the investigation continues.

Thursday’s announcement stems from a grand jury that investigated Kane and recommended charges against her last year. The case was then referred to Ferman.

Kane is the second elected Pennsylvania attorney general to face criminal charges.

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