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Politics & Government

Grand Jury Judge Unmoved By Kane's Request

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks down as she reads a statement during a news conference Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.

A grand jury judge says he won't take any legal action responding to Attorney General Kathleen Kane's public plea to release pornographic e-mails she says are being suppressed by people who want to force her from office.

"Kane has not filed with me any petition, pleading, motion or other request for Court action," said Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter in a written statement. "Accordingly, I will take no official action at this time."

Carpenter supervised the grand jury that investigated Kane and recommended charges against her. The case was then referred to the Montgomery County district attorney, who filed charges against Kane.

"As the Supervising Judge of the 35th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, I made no decision based upon politics, gender, anger, bias or prejudice," Carpenter said in his statement. "The emails that are in Attorney General Kane's possession were not introduced into evidence before the 35th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury."

Kane said Wednesday that the charges filed against her, which include perjury and other offenses, arise from her plans to release more pornographic e-mails exchanged by prosecutors and judges.

The e-mails were uncovered last year in the course of reviewing another investigation. Kane's selective release of the exchange and its participants led to a purge of state officials last year.

Kane has not directly addressed the allegations against her, nor has she explained how the release of additional e-mails could debunk the charges she faces.

The attorney general stands accused of leaking secret grand jury material to a newspaper to embarrass her detractors. Prosecutors say Kane then lied about the ordeal under oath.

Kane insists she is innocent of the charges and will fight them without stepping down. Numerous high-ranking state officials, including Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, have called for her resignation. The Supreme Court has received at least one complaint requesting the suspension of her law license, a move that would force her from office. Legislative leaders are considering impeachment.

Last September, Kane's office released some of the sexually explicit and racially offensive e-mails it unearthed last year, along with eight names of state officials who sent or received them. All of the participants she exposed had ties to her Republican predecessor, Tom Corbett (Kane is a Democrat). The partial release of e-mails also eventually led to the forced resignation of a Democratic state Supreme Court justice, whom Kane did not name.

A spokesman for Kane said her lawyers plan to file a motion to "vacate the court order that restricts the attorney general's ability to release the information in question."