House Effort To Impeach Kane Gains Traction

Jan 27, 2016

A resolution, if passed, would allow a House subcommittee to impeach Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
Credit Matt Rourke / AP

A state House panel is starting down a road that could end in the impeachment of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday sent to the full House a resolution that would empower a subcommittee to do a preliminary investigation into whether Kane “liable to impeachment for misbehavior in office.” The panel’s vote was unanimous.

Sponsoring Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) said he thinks the House has already waited too long to start impeachment proceedings.

“The allegations just keep coming out,” said Everett. “We need to at least have an investigation to determine what the facts are.”

The impeachment effort in the House gains steam as the Senate is coming to the conclusion of its own process to potentially remove Kane from office.

But the Senate is using a rarely-used procedure, and Everett says he’s concerned it would become mired in a legal challenge from Kane.

Kane is awaiting trial on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges. Prosecutors say she leaked secret investigative information to embarrass her detractors, and then lied about the ordeal under oath. Kane has vowed to fight the charges and refused Governor Tom Wolf’s call that she resign.

The state Supreme Court suspended Kane’s law license effective last October, pending her criminal trial. The Senate began considering her removal on the grounds that she cannot effectively run the Office of Attorney General without an active law license. Kane has said the Senate’s removal proceedings are unconstitutional, and she has disputed the chamber’s authority to mull her ouster.