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Pennsylvania's Attorney General Charged In Grand Jury Leak Case

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, took office in 2013.
Matt Rourke

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is facing criminal charges for allegedly leaking grand jury information and then lying about it under oath.

Kane is charged with perjury and obstruction, among other things, according to the criminal complaint.

NPR's Jeff Brady filed this report for Newscast:

"The case involves a Philadelphia newspaper article a year ago about a former NAACP official allegedly misusing state job-training grants. That person was never charged, but the story contained confidential information from a grand jury. Now Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, herself, faces charges, including perjury and abuse of office.

"Prosecutors say Kane released the information to embarrass political opponents.

"The attorney general was once seen as a rising Democratic star in a state where Republicans have mostly dominated. Kane says she's not guilty and won't resign."

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced the charges today in Norristown, just outside Philadelphia. "No one is above the law, not even the chief law enforcement officer of the state of Pennsylvania," Ferman said.

The Associated Press reports that "the 49-year-old Democrat is expected to surrender within days."

Kane, who took office in 2013, said in a statement that she has no plans to step down:

" 'I am very disappointed the district attorney has made the decision to pursue this case. I have maintained my innocence from the day these allegations surfaced and I continue to do so today,' Kane said in the statement.

" 'I intend to defend myself vigorously against these charges. I look forward to the opportunity to present my case in a public courtroom and move beyond the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that has defined the process to this point.

" 'Meanwhile, I remain committed to leading the Office of Attorney General and doing the job the citizens of this Commonwealth elected me to do. A resignation would be an admission of guilt and I'm not guilty.' "

Others in Pennsylvania, including Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, are calling on Kane to resign.

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