|Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane|
Kathleen Kane, the Democratic attorney general of Pennsylvania, was found guilty yesterday on nine counts of perjury and obstruction related to a grand jury leak. Did Kane actually do anything wrong? It's possible. Was her prosecution conducted for political reasons? There is almost no doubt about it, yes.
Kane had outed a number of Pennsylvania judges and other state officials who made it a habit to send pornographic, racist, and misogynistic messages via the Internet. Her investigation, which became known as "Porngate," led two state Supreme Court justices, and others, to resign.
Seamus McCaffery, a Democrat, was the first justice to resign, in 2014. He had been suspended, in part, for attempting to blackmail a fellow justice. Republican Michael Ekin resigned in March 2016.
How gross were the actions of individuals Kane unmasked? Consider this from a 2015 Washington Post story:
Over the past 15 months, beleaguered Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has released a steady stream of messages retrieved from a state email server that show state officials and employees trading pornographic, racist and misogynistic messages.
There are jokes about rape and sexual assault, photos mocking African Americans and other minorities, and insults leveled at people because of their weight, their sexual orientation or their religion. At least two state Supreme Court justices and numerous officials in the office of the attorney general have been caught in the scandal that has been dubbed “Porngate.”
Want more details? Here they are:
A small sampling: A photo of a pantsless woman on her knees performing oral sex on a man is captioned “Making your boss happy is your only job.” A picture of a white man fending off two African American men while carrying a bucket of fried chicken reads “BRAVERY At Its Finest.” The sender of the email that shows a group of men engaged in sex included this message to friends, “How friggin gay are you?”
“When you see these emails . . . it’s just a swamp of misogyny, racism, homophobia and white privilege. It taints everybody, especially in the judicial branch,” said Bruce Ledewitz, associate dean of academic affairs and a law professor at Duquesne University School of Law. “Some of these things are really disgusting. You get the impression that every white male office holder in the state is a creep.”
Did white male office holders take an underhanded path to get back at Kane for unmasking them as creeps? Sure looks that way. Consider this from a Fox News article about Ekin's resignation earlier this year. (And how appropriate is it that "Porngate" is tied, in a roundabout way, to the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal at Penn State?)
Justice Michael Eakin's decision to retire marks the latest fallout since embattled state Attorney General Kathleen Kane began releasing hundreds of emails in 2014 to the media and ethics agencies. Kane has since been indicted on perjury and other charges that she claims were trumped up because she took on the old boys' club of Pennsylvania's judiciary and law enforcement. . . .
The exchange of explicit and pornographic emails by state prosecutors was uncovered as part of Kane's internal review of how the office handled the investigation into Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach now serving a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse.
Pennsylvania has an old boys' club that controls the courts and law enforcement? Gee, that's a shock. Alabama has one, too. Right now, the Pennsylvania old boys' club is making Alabama's look good, by comparison. And I didn't think that was possible.