Kathleen Kane defiant as grand jury’s report unsealed

Charles Mostoller

Attorney General Kathleen Kane remains defiant in the face of potential criminal charges, after a grand jury presentment was unsealed Wednesday recommending she face criminal charges related to the leak of confidential documents to the media.

If indicted, Kane said, “I won’t resign. I promised the people of Pennsylvania that I will fight public corruption. That is exactly what this is. The court systems are being used to overturn the election of somebody they just don’t like, somebody that is cleaning up Harrisburg.”

At a press conference to announce charges against 22 suspects alleged to have participated in an illegal oxycodone ring, Kane was bombarded with questions about the corruption investigation.

The presentment was issued by a grand jury empaneled to find the source of leaks to media regarding a 2009 criminal investigation.

Kane’s attorney, Lanny Davis, pointed out Wednesday that the unsealed presentment is only reported to include charges of perjury, obstruction, official oppression and false swearing – not contempt, the charge associated with violations of the Grand Jury Secrecy Act.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, citing unidentified sources, reported two weeks ago that the presentment recommended charging Kane with contempt.

“They start looking for a grand jury leak. They can’t find a grand jury leak so they go and make things up,” Kane said. “There is no leak, or they would have charged it, and they didn’t. They would have put it in a presentment and they did not.”

Davis said special prosecutor Thomas Carluccio’s “investigation of illegal leaks failed.”

“The Philadelphia Inquirer was misled by a source who wanted people to believe that Kathleen Kane would be charged with violating the Grand Jury Secrecy Act,” Davis said.

According to Davis, the perjury charges “are the last refuge of a desperate prosecutor who has struck out.”

Davis had filed for the unsealing of the presentment.

Kane, who testified before the grand jury last month, treated the unsealing, which revealed the charges in the presentment, as a victory.

“I told the truth every single time,” Kane said of her testimony to the grand jury. “There were no documents that were grand jury materials that were leaked.”

The statewide grand jury was convened last year in Norristown by judicial order to investigate the release to the Philadelphia Daily News of details concerning the investigation into J. Whyatt Mondesire, the former head of the Philadephia branch of the NAACP, over suspected financial wrongdoing.

Kane acknowledged releasing a 2014 memo about the 2009 investigation to the Daily News, but denied committing a crime.

Mondesire was never officially charged.

Montgomery County D.A. Risa Vetri Ferman is reviewing the grand jury’s presentment and will decide whether to follow the grand jury’s recommendations and arrest or charge Kane.

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