Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
“Live by the sword, die by the sword” gets played out again by Kathleen Kane, PA’s Attorney General, who imitated Elliot Spitzer in attacking industry.
It seems no one IS above the law, including Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Kathleen Kane. She is, you may recall, anti-drilling and has targeted both large and small companies related to the Marcellus industry. She abused her office by filing criminal charges against XTO Energy for an accidental spill that occurred two years before she took office. She also abused her office by filing criminal charges against EQT. Both actions were patently obvious sops to the green movement she thought might take her to the governorship someday, in the manner of her apparent role model, Elliot Spitzer. Meanwhile, her husband’s trucking company was converting to CNG.
It’s not only the big boys Kathleen has had a vendetta against. She also shut down a small company that does environmental remediation and wastewater disposal. She promised to go after the gas industry in her campaign and was determined to deliver on the promise.
Now Kathleen Kane has been caught red-handed leaking privileged grand jury information to a newspaper and she’s resorted to crying about men bullying her. So utterly predictable.
The special prosecutor and grand jury investigating allegations that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane leaked secret information to a newspaper have found evidence of wrongdoing and recommended that she be criminally charged, according to numerous people familiar with the decision.
The panel concluded that Kane violated grand-jury secrecy rules by leaking investigative material in a bid to embarrass political enemies, sources said.
Some of those familiar with the grand jury presentment say it recommended charges that included perjury and contempt of court.
The statewide grand jury, sitting in Norristown, has turned over its findings to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who must decide whether to affirm its findings and arrest Kane, the state’s top law enforcement official.
Ferman declined to comment Thursday.
If the prosecutor files a criminal case, it would represent a stunning fall for Kane, 48, who won in a landslide in 2012 to become the first woman and Democrat elected attorney general.
Kane has denied breaking any laws in releasing the investigative material.
“The attorney general has done nothing wrong or illegal and, to my knowledge, there is no credible evidence that she has,” her lawyer, Lanny J. Davis, said in a statement Thursday. “She told the truth to the grand jury at all times. I hope the district attorney will reach same conclusion.”
Kane’s tenure has been marked by controversy over the last year, much of it generated by an Inquirer disclosure that she had secretly shut down an undercover “sting” investigation that had caught elected officials from Philadelphia on tape accepting cash.
That case was resurrected by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, who has charged a former Traffic Court judge and two state legislators with bribery.
If Kane is arrested, she would become the second Pennsylvania attorney general in modern history to face criminal charges. Ernest Preate Jr., a Republican, resigned in 1995 after pleading guilty to federal charges in connection with an illegal $20,000 cash contribution.
On Saturday, Kane’s lawyer, Lanny Davis (formerly the chief excuse-maker in the Clinton White House for Billy’s perjuring of himself under oath, which ultimately cost him his license to practice law), predictably said this is bullying by angry men and Republicans. Same thing he said 20 years ago with Clinton:
A lawyer for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Republicans and “angry men” are running a “railroad train” over Kane’s reputation in an attempt to ruin her career.
Kane, the first woman and first Democrat elected to the office, is the victim of a vendetta by Republicans angry with her for investigating her Republican predecessor’s delay in bringing child molester Jerry Sandusky to justice, attorney Lanny Davis said at a news conference in Philadelphia Saturday.
On Friday, Kane issued a statement saying she did not break grand jury secrecy laws to warrant possible criminal charges. The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that a Montgomery County grand jury investigating grand jury leaks has recommended Kane be charged. It said the grand jury had been probing allegations that she leaked secret information to a the Philadelphia Daily News in an attempt to embarrass critics.
No official grand jury presentment has been made public.
State representatives recently returned to Harrisburg aren’t wasting any time. They say Kane should resign now – that’s she’s finished. A resolution to impeach Kane is picking up steam:
Forget waiting to see if criminal charges are filed against Attorney General Kathleen Kane, some of her chief foes in the Legislature are calling on her to step down immediately.
Reps Steve Bloom, R-North Middleton Twp., and Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, say with all her baggage, she can no longer effectively do her job as the chief law enforcement officer.
They base that on the accumulation of her earlier actions that they disapproved of along with the story reported on Thursday by Philly.com citing anonymous sources that said a statewide grand jury is recommending charging Kane for allegedly leaking secret grand jury information,
“I don’t think she should continue for the benefit of the people of this commonwealth,” Bloom said.
“I think just the grand jury recommendation that criminal charges be filed really destroys this attorney general’s credibility in the state and in the nation,” said Metcalfe, who accepted Thursday’s news report about Kane as fact.
Metcalfe is circulating a memo among his House colleagues seeking support for a resolution to impeach Kane primarily because of her decision to not defend laws that the Legislature passed. He sponsored a similar resolution in the last session that died of inaction. Bloom signed on as a co-sponsor of both resolutions.
Kathleen Kane is not only incompetent, she’s vindictive and threatens the drilling industry and those who depend upon it, including landowners and residents of rural Pennsylvania who have finally seen some meaningful economic development. Worse, she does so demagogic pursuit of cheap votes she hoped would make her governor, but that’s over.
We can’t wait until Kathleen Kane is unceremoniously tossed out of the nearest Capitol door. She’s already caused enough damage to the Keystone State and the Marcellus Shale industry. Good riddance.
An interesting but unrelated aside is that Kane filed for divorce in December from her husband of 14 years. Was it those CNG trucks?
Editor’s Note: We share Jim’s sentiments. Kathleen Kane, Elliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo (who ran for Governor of New York from the AG’s office), are extraordinarily dangerous people who undermine civil society by using the exceptional powers entrusted to them to criminalize political differences and, worse, create political opportunities for themselves.
There are examples in both political parties (Rudy Guliani did much the same thing as Federal prosecutor and so did Dick Thornburgh). It’s abuse of power, as Jim points out. Justice, nonetheless, prevails from time to time when the practitioners of this abuse let their egos take over and suppose they can do anything. That’s what happened to Spitzer and now Katheleen “Ellie” Kane. Live by the sword, die by the sword.
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