Valia Jenkins- Now that Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been indicted, lawmakers are calling on her to be impeached. Two dozen Pennsylvania House Republicans introduced House Resolution No. 435 to impeach Kane due to “misbehavior in office.” While not going so far as to call for impeachment, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) has also called for her resignation.
Kane allegedly leaked confidential information to a newspaper reporter about a 2009 grand jury investigation of former NAACP president J. Whyatt Mondesire. She then lied about leaking the information while she was under oath, according to the DA who is charging her. The reason give for the alleged leaking of the information was to shine a negative light on her political rivals.
The Mondesire investigation resulted in no charges. It also took place before Kane was in office. Former prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation, as well as others involved in the Mondesire case, have been vocal critics of the Attorney General.
Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R) of Butler County is the prime sponsor of H.R. 435. In a memo to House members, he detailed the reasons calling for Kane’s impeachment. Metcalfe stated that Kane “has displayed a blatant disregard and disrespect for the law.”
Co-sponsor Kathy Watson (R) of Buck County believes that Kane doesn’t have enough time to do her Attorney General duties while defending herself, saying, “I really don’t think anyone can devote full-time to the kind of job the Attorney General has, and create her own defense.” She also thinks that Kane “could have taken a leave of absence. Or resigned, cleared things up, and then went from there.”
Tarah Toohil (R), a Representative from Luzerne County, also co-sponsored H.R. 435. Toohil was straightforward with her intention to see Kane impeached, saying, “She needs, at this point, to step aside so that someone else can do that job because we have serious business to do in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
Jerry Knowles (R), who serves parts of Berks, Carbon, and Schuylkill counties and co-sponsored H.R. 435, believes Kane should resign and that the House “should consider impeachment if she is going to dig in her heels.”
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) is calling on Kane to resign, saying that her continued service in office would impact “people’s perception of their democracy.” Wolf also echoed what Watson said about being able to perform her duties, saying, “These are the charges and there are other serious charges, and they are troubling. And, I am not sure how the top law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania can continue to perform her duties while she is defending herself against these serious charges. They are serious.”
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman (R), who filed the charges against Kane on August 6, stated in a document released from her office, “A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice. When someone entrusted with the solemn obligation to uphold the law deliberately violates the same laws she is sworn to uphold, we are all victims of this breach of the public trust. When an elected official betrays the confidence and trust placed in her by the public, we must do everything in our power to hold her accountable. The laws of our Commonwealth protect all her citizens and as citizens we can expect those who have the obligation to enforce the laws to abide by their mandates. This investigation and the charges filed today show, beyond all doubt, that no one is above the law; not even the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Commonwealth.”
In regards to Kane’s public statement denying doing anything wrong, Ferman stated, “The District Attorney’s Office does not respond to comments made by criminal defendants.”
Kane is facing charges of obstruction, conspiracy, and perjury for lying under oath about giving out secret information concerning a grand jury “in hopes of embarrassing and harming former state prosecutors she believed, without evidence, made her look bad,” Ferman said.
Despite the fact that members of both political parties are urging her to resign, Kane is adamant about staying put. She said that, “A resignation would be an admission of guilt, and I’m not guilty.”
Kane denies that she did anything wrong and said that “only a portion of the story has been told.” She went on to explain that what she believes actually led to the charges against her was a record of emails within the Corbett Attorney General’s Office being passed between judges and state prosecutors containing material that was pornographic, racist, and offensive to religions.
She said that once it was announced that the emails were traceable via technology the Moulton investigation had, newspaper stories were being run to “embarrass and intimidate” her by “questioning” a case decision. She also named Judge William Carpenter for not making the emails public information. As a result of the emails, Kane says that two people including Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery have resigned, six people have been fired, and twenty three people have been reprimanded.
Kane’s driver Patrick R. Reese also faces charges for indirect criminal contempt. He allegedly violated a protection order that covered the grand jury. Reese also serves on Kane’s security detail as a supervisory special agent.
Regardless of the facts, or Kane’s guilt or innocence, sources in Harrisburg tell the Freedomist that Kane’s political capital is done. Democrats are anxious to remove Kane as soon as possible in the hopes of replacing her with a democrat who is more viable in the next election cycle. Republicans have long opposed Kane on numerous fronts, including her stance on fracking. Governor Tom Wolf hopes to have Kane removed to clear the political air, which, at present, is drowning his message and his effort to advance his own agenda.
You can read more about this case here:
Ferman Probe of AG Kane Expanded