ShareThis Page
Kane claims political attack: ‘I did nothing illegal. Period.’ |

Kane claims political attack: ‘I did nothing illegal. Period.’

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, accompanied by attorney Gerald Shargel, a reads a statement to reporters on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, upon arriving to testify before a state grand jury near Norristown.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, looks on during a news conference on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, in City Hall in Philadelphia.

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen Kane on Friday denied any wrongdoing and claimed she is under “political attack” for trying to change the state Capitol’s political culture.

In her first public statement since a Philadelphia newspaper’s report that a grand jury will recommend criminal charges against her for leaking confidential information, Kane said a “fair and impartial review of the facts” will conclude she has done nothing illegal.

“This seems to me to be another political attack on my attempt to clean up Harrisburg and its political culture. They have fought me all the way, including an effort to impeach me,” Kane said, without specifying to whom she referred, although it appeared to be Republicans, including Rep. Daryl Metcalfe of Cranberry, who tried to remove her from office.

Kane released the statement through her Washington-based attorney, Lanny Davis, who said he would hold a news conference Saturday to defend her against the Philadelphia Inquirer report that a statewide grand jury recommended criminal charges against her.

Kane, 48, of Clarks Summit could face charges of perjury and contempt of court if Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman decides to move forward with the case, the Inquirer reported Thursday.

The case involves the leak of what may have been grand jury investigative material to the Philadelphia Daily News.

“I did nothing illegal. Period,” Kane’s statement began. “… Since taking office, I have torn up their questionable contracts, cleaned up their investigations, broke their pornography ring and prosecuted corrupt officials. I will continue to clean up Harrisburg, despite these attacks that seem to be more about politics than the merits.”

Kane testified before a grand jury in Montgomery County in November and acknowledged she was aware that her office conveyed documents to the Daily News, but she maintained the documents were not covered by grand jury secrecy rules.

Davis said if the Inquirer report is accurate, it will be up to Ferman to decide whether to press charges. Ferman could not be reached at her Norristown office.

“What I’ve done for my career, that goes back to representing President Clinton, is to get all the facts out,” Davis said.

Davis said a campaign to “bring her down” began the day Kane announced she would investigate whether Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, when attorney general, slowed the investigation of serial child molester Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach.

Davis did not direct his allegation toward anyone and said he cannot “name names” because of court-ordered restrictions.

Kane’s report on the Sandusky case found no evidence of a deliberate delay for political reasons, but her investigators pinpointed problems with the investigation. Sandusky is serving a prison sentence for child molestation.

Davis, in an interview, spoke of “cleaning up the mess in the Attorney General’s Office.”

Corbett’s spokesman Jay Pagni said the governor “is proud of his tenure as attorney general, and he has the utmost respect for the professionals who worked with him during his tenure.”

Kane released pornographic emails shared by former prosecutors and an agent who worked under GOP administrations in the office. State Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, who was the source of some of the emails, subsequently resigned, as did a number of the recipients.

In 2013, Kane blocked a lottery contract that Corbett signed to privatize management of the state lottery.

Corbett lost his re-election bid in November to Democrat Tom Wolf, who takes office Jan. 20.

Metcalfe sponsored an impeachment resolution against Kane last session for refusing to defend the state law banning gay marriage and said he would reintroduce the bill.

Many of those involved in the investigation of Kane are Republicans: Ferman, who is running for judge; Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter, who oversaw the investigating grand jury; its special prosecutor, Thomas Carluccio; and retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille, who authorized hiring a special prosecutor.

Kane is the state’s first Democrat and first woman to be elected attorney general.

“You have to remember that we only have the information that we do have due to a leak,” said John Burkoff, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. “Who knows whether that leak is accurate, or whether the grand jury has truly completed its deliberations related to the attorney general?”

Rep. Brandon Neuman, a Washington County Democrat, agreed. “Right now, you’re looking at a leaked investigation about a leaked investigation.”

Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media’s state Capitol reporter. Reach him at 717-787-1405 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.