Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane denies charges

Attorney general charged with obstruction of justice
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Story highlights

  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane denies charges of obstruction of justice and perjury
  • Kane leaked confidential information about grand jury deliberations to the media, complaint says

(CNN)Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a rising Democratic Party star embroiled in a political battle with colleagues and predecessors, defended herself for the first time Wednesday after being charged criminally with obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

Kane said in a statement that she's "innocent of any wrongdoing" highlighted in last week's criminal indictment accusing her of leaking confidential information about grand jury deliberations to the media and then attempting to cover it up in an effort to harm her predecessor.
That criminal complaint alleges Kane acted on anger about a local newspaper article that accused her of dropping an investigation into politicians accepting bribes.
    To get back at her predecessors, the complaint said Kane leaked sealed, confidential grand jury documents to the media and then lied under oath.
    Kane said "only a portion of the story has been told" and that a campaign of political retribution had been launched against her long before the allegations at the center of the criminal complaint.
    The entire episode, Kane said, began with a series of "pornographic, racial and religiously offensive emails" from the office of former Attorney General Tom Corbett -- who was elected governor in 2010 -- and uncovered in an investigation.
    She called for the release of the emails, but the move was blocked by state court Judge William Carpenter under what Kane called "a tortured interpretation of our state's grand jury secrecy law."
    "From the moment this email traffic became discoverable," Kane said, "some involved in this filthy email chain have tried desperately to ensure that these emails and, more importantly their attachment to it, never saw the light of day."
    She added, "For only a grand jury protective order stands in the way of releasing their names and their emails to the public. And should I be removed from office, either by conviction or through a suspension of my license through the state's disciplinary board, the one person who could challenge that order would no longer have standing to do so."