- Associated Press - Saturday, January 10, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Republicans with political grudges are out to “railroad” and destroy Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane through a grand jury probe, a lawyer for the first first-term Democrat said Saturday.

Washington crisis counselor Lanny Davis vowed that Kane will be vindicated, whether or not she faces criminal charges in an investigation over a grand jury leak.

“This railroad train seems to me to be driven by some men with grudges, men who are bitter and angry at being exposed and professionally embarrassed - men who have political agendas to railroad Kathleen Kane out of office and destroy her career,” Davis said.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has cited anonymous sources in saying that a special grand jury this week recommended that Kane be charged over the 2014 leak. The Philadelphia Daily News had reported in August that her predecessor had investigated - but never charged - a local NAACP president over agency finances in 2009.

Davis confirmed Saturday that Kane allowed a deputy to leak a 2014 summary of the NAACP probe. However, he insisted that she did not leak any of the grand jury material, including a 2009 memo that was quoted.



“She has no idea who got that 2009 memo to the reporter,” Davis said. “The only thing she did, when she read the 2014 memo, she said, ‘I have no problem with that being released. Do what you have to do.”

Davis said Kane felt the public had a right to know about the investigation. In hindsight, he said that may have been a political mistake but not a crime.

The former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, Ronald Castille, appointed special prosecutor Thomas Carluccio to investigate the leak to the Daily News in a grand jury probe overseen by Montgomery County Judge William R. Carpenter. All three men are Republicans. They have either declined comment or not returned messages this week.

The decision on whether to pursue the grand jury’s reported recommendation and charge Kane is now in the hands of another Republican, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. Davis said he hopes that Ferman keeps “an open mind.”

Davis said grudges over Kane’s review of the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse investigation - which was run by her predecessor, outgoing Gov. Tom Corbett - and an examination of pornography found on state computers is motiving those out to get his client. The pornography, which Davis called “misogynist,” brought down a state Supreme Court justice, a cabinet secretary, state prosecutors and others.

Davis said repeatedly that Kane never knowingly disclosed any secret grand jury material. And he pledged that she would not step down, while conceding she had made some mistakes in her first two years in office.

“She will not resign because she is innocent,” Davis said. “She will not let them prevail.”

Kane is the first woman and the first Democrat to be elected attorney general since it became an elective post in 1980.

She has endured a difficult year both professionally and personally. In addition to the grand jury problem, she took heat for quashing a probe - later revived by the Philadelphia district attorney - of lawmakers who allegedly took inappropriate gifts.

And she announced after Christmas that she had filed for divorce from her husband of 14 years. They have two children and have lived in Clarks Summit, near Scranton.

Kane has said she is using personal funds to pay for Davis’ legal work. Davis worked as special counsel to President Bill Clinton.

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