Kathleen Kane, once favored Democrat rising star and Pennsylvania’s first female elected attorney general, has been criminally charged with a laundry list of offenses related to the operations of her office. The charges include obstruction, official oppression, criminal conspiracy, perjury and false swearing. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman (R) announced the indictment yesterday morning.
If true, the charges point to a Kane administration focused on embarrassing former prosecutors who may have displeased her, particularly one Frank Fina. Ferman alleges that Kane provided confidential information, including grand jury evidence, to individuals who could make those prosecutors look bad. The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article back in March 2014 claiming Kane had shut down an investigation led by Fina. The article could be interpreted as unfavorable press.
A few months later, the Philadelphia Daily News published an article that was critical of one of Fina’s other investigations while with the Office of Attorney General. The probable cause affidavit quotes emails between Kane and a media strategist in which Kane allegedly write “This is war,” to which her strategist responded to “make war with Fina, but NOT to make war with the Inquirer.”
It was the information in the second article that became the basis for an investigation into grand jury leaks now alleged to have come from Kane’s office and ultimately the second grand jury’s recommendation that Kane face charges. Essentially, DA Ferman alleges that Kane conspired to leak confidential grand jury information to the public for personal vendetta reasons and then lied about what she had done when called before the grand jury investigating the leaks.
Kane has vowed to fight the charges in court and remain in office despite Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s call for her resignation.