Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rejects Embattled Attorney General’s Eleventh Hour Request to Postpone Perjury Trial

In a two-sentence per curiam order, Pennsylvania’s high court has denied Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s emergency application to postpone her impending criminal trial on charges of perjury, false swearing, obstruction and official oppression.  On August 1st, Kane petitioned the court to dismiss the charges against her, arguing that the judge supervising the grand jury from Montgomery County had no authority to appoint a special prosecutor.  Although Kane may ask the Court to reconsider its decision, further reprieve is unlikely.

Kane has served as Pennsylvania’s Attorney General since 2013.  In May 2014, a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate allegations that secret grand jury material from a 2009 investigation had been intentionally leaked to the Philadelphia Daily News.  According to investigators, the leaks were part of an orchestrated effort by Kane to retaliate against former prosecutors she believed had embarrassed her.  Prosecutors allege that Kane subsequently lied to a grand jury investigating the leak.

Although the Pennsylvania Supreme Court suspended Kane’s license to practice law in September 2015, she has refused to resign and remains in office.  Kane has maintained that she is innocent and that resigning would admit guilt.  She has chosen not to seek reelection.

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