Pennsylvania Attorney General Kane lawyers up

posted at 10:01 am on March 21, 2014 by Gabriel Malor

The decision of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane to drop the investigation and potential prosecution of Philadelphia Democrats who were recorded accepting cash, money orders, or jewelry certainly seems suspicious. According to news reports, investigators collected over 400 hours of audio and video of five Democrats, including four state lawmakers, before Kane, also a Democrat, secretly killed the investigation last fall. When confronted with this troubling story by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kane cited racism and mismanagement in the investigation, but the detailed descriptions of the recordings certainly seem to indicate that the payments were made.

Kane’s reaction to reports about her decision went from bad to worse. At first, she complained that white men were attacking her:

In the statement, Kane provided only one quote, dismissing those who questioned her decisions as “nothing more than the Good Ol’ Boys club playing political games to discredit me in order to fulfill their own selfish and improper agenda.”

The statement cited Kane’s pursuit of political-corruption cases, including the pay-to-play scandal involving Democrats tied to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the corruption charges brought last week against Democratic State Sen. LeAnna Washington.

That was a pretty astounding escalation. It is not out of line to wonder why a state’s attorney general would drop an investigation which is said to have obtained detailed recordings of lawmakers taking bribes. The decision to dismiss the investigation under seal combined with Kane’s accusation that it was tainted by racism certainly is newsworthy and gives rise to an inference that, although we may not know exactly what went on here, something unusual did. That’s ordinarily a reason to give something more examination, not less.

But Kane, apparently frustrated by continuing scrutiny of her decision, has now escalated further, hiring counsel and suggesting that if the Inquirer continues to pursue the story, she would start suing people!

During the meeting, Sprague [Kane’s new lawyer] suggested that The Inquirer may have been used by the sources of its stories – “wittingly or unwittingly” as a “weapon” to attack Kane to defend themselves from potential charges of wrongdoing in the management of the probe.

“I intend to look at the investigation from the very beginning to the conclusion of it, and in terms of what has been published, by this paper and others, to take appropriate action on behalf of the attorney general against those responsible for the defamatory and the false publications that have been made,” Sprague said.

It sounds like Kane or her new lawyer thinks the folks providing detailed information about the investigation into bribe-taking Democrats are the very investigators she claims were impermissibly motivated by race in the investigation.

The decision to lawyer up and take “appropriate action” against either the leakers or the papers goes far beyond the bounds of a reasonable response. This is indisputably a newsworthy story. The public deserves to know what happened with this investigation and why it happened. Kane’s acceleration from “it was racism” to “it’s the Good Ol’ Boys” to “I will start suing people” is despicable in any public servant, but even more so from the state’s top prosecutor.

The Inquirer’s editor, William K. Marimow, gets this exactly right:

“Our lead reporters, Angela Couloumbis and Craig McCoy, have interviewed many people with in-depth knowledge of the investigation, including members of Attorney General Kane’s staff, in order to ensure that the stories are accurate, thorough, and fair,” Marimow said. “These stories are the product of months of diligent and dogged reporting – not a leak from a person with a political agenda.”

He added, “In my opinion, this is precisely the kind of issue that requires public scrutiny, specifically the conduct of public officials who accepted cash or gifts from an undercover agent and the quality of a three-year investigation launched and ended by a state law enforcement agency.”

Bravo, Inquirer. That’s journalism.

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Hawk, I think you mean Roy Cooper, NC Atty Gen. Democrat.

BigAlSouth on March 21, 2014 at 12:50 PM

NC AG is correct. Thanks.

hawkdriver on March 21, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Hey, what’s Malor doing here?

forest on March 21, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Wow, I didn’t even notice that…

AOS cross-pollinization baby!!!

BigWyo on March 21, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Yep, because the Philadelphia Inquirer is a bastion of the vast right wing conspiracy. Good luck with that lady.

hawkdriver on March 21, 2014 at 10:16 AM

In areas where the Republicans are only token opposition, we’ll see more and more Democrat infighting. The power is there, the money is there, somebody who doesn’t have it wants it.

Fenris on March 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Sounds a lot like the “other” AG.

Amazingoly on March 21, 2014 at 3:59 PM

She shouldn’t need an attorney …. if she has done nothing wrong.

HBowmanMD on March 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

She’s a female version of Eric Holder.

JellyToast on March 21, 2014 at 11:04 AM

I got halfway down page one (late to the thread) before I found someone who said this.
This should have been right at the top . . . . . it says all that needs be said, about this lady.

listens2glenn on March 21, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Is it just me or are the democrats some of the most immoral people out there.

crosshugger on March 21, 2014 at 4:25 PM

This woman immediately turned her attention to Governor Corbett when she took office to investigate his handling of the Penn State investigation. I guess the Democrats chief objective in that post is to use their office to attack Republicans.

I would love to see her proven to be the crook and political hack she is.

hawkdriver on March 21, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Spot on hawk. I watched this whole thing unfold at the time,
and remember thinking she’s a B*tch from hell, on a mission
to destroy Tom Corbett…..cannot stand her. When this
story broke here the other week about her killing this
investigation, the reaction was swift, and negative.
Apparently, she thinks Laws only apply to certain people.
Funny, that’s what Eric Holder thinks too……

I see the name Sprague as her new Lawyer…if that is
Richard Sprague from Lancaster County, he’s one of the best
Attorneys in the State…..also, one of the most respected.

Does not matter, this woman is Poison, and needs to
have her career and mission to become Governor shelfed.
For the good of our state.

ToddPA on March 21, 2014 at 10:22 AM

You both said it far better than I ever could. I cannot stand her either, ever since I first laid eyes on her with her whole “I’m here to watch very carefully what Tom Corbett does” routine. It’s not that I’m so in love with Corbett, but she gives off a definite evil vibe that says to me that she’s perfectly willing to manufacture dirt on her political enemies any way she can. And of course, being a Democrat, that’s part of her DNA.

Can’t stand her and I hope she gets run out of office on a rail.

PatriotGal2257 on March 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

hawkdriver on March 21, 2014 at 2:52 PM

No prob.

Know what? It pisses me off that Roy Cooper is gonna sit in the position of Attorney General for NC for the next three years and crap on McCrory every chance he gets.

BigAlSouth on March 21, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Kane still has a trump card to play… the nasty connections between Corbett, his donor nucleus, Second Mile, and the Sand*sky investigation. That card will drop sometime after the primary.

Don’t think that this scandal will help Corbett survive his incompetence as a politician.

either orr on March 21, 2014 at 11:16 AM

She’s already played those cards..all of em.
people here have moved on….Corbett survived it
because, wait for it…he wasn’t guilty of anything…

..for being Incompetent. he’s been running some damn
good campaign ads here recently….

ToddPA on March 21, 2014 at 11:35 AM

His campaign ads are “good”, but his record as a conservative is somewhat ‘tarnished’, in the eyes of a lot of Republican constituents.

I still want Peg Luksik. I’m still pissed that she lost to Barbera Hafer in 1990.

listens2glenn on March 21, 2014 at 4:33 PM

I am a PA resident, born and raised. Kane not only just killed her political career, but she may have lost the governor’s race for the Democrats this fall.

BigWillieStyles on March 21, 2014 at 10:08 AM

silver lining

workingclass artist on March 21, 2014 at 10:21 AM

I hope it’s a BIG silver lining. There’s no way I’d want her anywhere near Harrisburg.

PatriotGal2257 on March 21, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Seriously? “Defamation”? A public official drops a corruption investigation, is criticized for acting politically instead of ethically, and threatens to sue?

She should be impeached just for this alone.

MTF on March 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Probably at the top of the list if Holder ever steps down.

forest on March 21, 2014 at 11:01 AM

On the plus side, now Holder can finally retire. His replacement has been found.

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 21, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Whoever has those recordings has better make many copies and lock them up very securely.

Perhaps putting them on the Internet for all to see would be the only way to secure them and that would also turn up the heat on Democrat Attorney General Kane.

RJL on March 21, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Cesspool at federal level, cesspool at state level.

Libs have never learned not to defecate where they live.

Oxymoron on March 21, 2014 at 5:02 PM

His campaign ads are “good”, but his record as a conservative is somewhat ‘tarnished’, in the eyes of a lot of Republican constituents.

I still want Peg Luksik. I’m still pissed that she lost to Barbera Hafer in 1990.

listens2glenn on March 21, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Agree with you on that one!!

Peg is a wonderful Republican, and human being.

Jack Lords Hair on March 21, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Scott Wagner won his write in election for State Senate in PA this week. I read several different articles about it. However, this article on American Spectator by Jeffrey Lord has a background that other articles did not have. Since this is not really O/T, since it’s about PA, this is more slick action to try to defeat him.

bluefox on March 21, 2014 at 8:43 PM

AG Eric Holder will likely send a Democrat AUSA to clear this Democrat state AG.

randy on March 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Isn’t this the same woman who’s running against Governor Corbett?
Who denounced him for supposedly lacking diligence, investigating the Sandusky sex scandal at Penn State?
And who decided not to enforce the PA law against same-sex marriage, because she didn’t think it was legal (or some such 1234)?

Someone needs a Special Persecutor!
(er… Prosecutor?)

ReggieA on March 22, 2014 at 12:15 AM

Someone needs a Special Persecutor!
(er… Prosecutor?)

ReggieA on March 22, 2014 at 12:15 AM

Maybe both? :-)

Be sure to read that American Spectator Article by Jeffrey Lord. You won’t regret it, even if you don’t live in PA. It may be a M.O. for other States as well.

bluefox on March 22, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Pennsylvania (Democrat) Attorney General Kane lawyers up
posted at 10:01 am on March 21, 2014 by Gabriel Malor

Please fix this, Gabriel.

The Ds report and leave Ds out, when their own are culpable. We need to be more objective.

Schadenfreude on August 6, 2015 at 2:45 PM