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Special Prosecutor

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NEWS
January 7, 2004 | Steve Chapman
Steve Chapman is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune After many bad decisions as attorney general, John Ashcroft has made a good one: deciding to let someone else decide. He recused himself from the effort to find who leaked the name of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, on the assumption that any investigation he supervises would have no credibility. The question now is whether the investigation he doesn't supervise will have any. In the old days, that would not have been an issue.
NEWS
February 25, 1997
They have no shame in Washington. It's urgent that a special prosecutor look into the campaign finance practices of the president's re-election campaign. Uses of so-called "soft" money by Republicans may merit a similar probe. Yes, the special prosecutor process is unwieldy, expensive and slow. It's likely to get tied up in complicated questions of immunity arising from parallel congressional investigations. And to judge by Ken Starr's performance as Whitewater prosecutor, the D.C. courts can't be counted on to pick a nonpartisan investigator.
NEWS
January 14, 2015 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
The special prosecutor investigating Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane subpoenaed two Inquirer reporters Monday in a bid to learn their sources for a story that said a grand jury had recommended criminal charges against her. The newspaper's editor said the reporters would invoke the state Shield Law, which offers legal protection against the compelled identification of confidential sources. "The confidential sources who provided guidance to The Inquirer in these stories about public officials in their official duties are precisely those whom the Pennsylvania Shield Law was designed to protect from disclosure," editor William K. Marimow said.
NEWS
June 21, 1987 | By Edwin Guthman, Editor of The Inquirer
With something less than exquisite timing last week, the Justice Department, backed by the White House, challenged the constitutionality of the law creating special prosecutors, like the one investigating the Iran-contra affair. The department, with Attorney General Edwin Meese 3d taking himself out of the action because he is a subject of a special prosecutor's probe, announced that it would advise President Reagan to veto any bills now being considered in Congress to extend the law after its scheduled expiration date in January.
NEWS
March 10, 1986 | By Ginny Wiegand, Inquirer Staff Writer
An Abington commissioner urged his fellow commissioners and the public last week to demand that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate the findings of the recent special state audit of township finances. "I'm convinced . . . that we need to have a full investigation. I'm sure the public will demand that," said first-term Commissioner Richard C. Gamble. State Auditor General Don Bailey already has called on the Montgomery County district attorney and the state attorney general to investigate his findings that township money was, in some cases, missing or spent without documentation or authorization.
NEWS
September 1, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
A special prosecutor is investigating whether the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane leaked confidential grand jury material to a newspaper in a bid to strike back at former prosecutors in the office who had been critical of her, according to several people familiar with the matter. The special prosecutor has issued several subpoenas to Kane's office and others to explore how secret records became public this year about a 2009 investigation by the Attorney General's Office involving Philadelphia political activist J. Whyatt Mondesire, the sources said.
NEWS
March 2, 2016 | By Craig R. McCoy, Staff Writer
The special prosecutor hired by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to examine the evidence in the pornographic email scandal says it is unlikely he will bring criminal charges against anyone involved. Douglas F. Gansler, in an interview Monday, said bringing charges under obscenity statutes would be far-fetched. Such prosecutions have become fairly rare nationwide, he said. As for the former or current officials who swapped pornographic or otherwise offensive emails on government computers, Gansler said their conduct might violate workplace rules, but was hardly criminal.
NEWS
March 1, 2013
HARRISBURG - A special prosecutor will examine whether secrecy rules were violated in proceedings by the grand jury that investigated Jerry Sandusky and three former Pennsylvania State University administrators facing criminal charges. Lawyer James M. Reeder was given six months to look into the matter and issue a report to state officials, according to a Feb. 8 order from Judge Barry Feudale first reported Wednesday. The order relates to a grand jury that issued reports in 2011 and 2012 that led to molestation charges against Sandusky and perjury charges against former Penn State president Graham B. Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley, and retired vice president Gary Schultz.
NEWS
January 23, 1998 | By Morris Thompson
President Clinton will serve out his term - or he won't. His presidency and maybe the power of future presidents will be diminished by the developing scandal - or it won't. It's not a crisis for the Republic. Here's what could be: The vicious cycle of what goes around, comes around. Like the ongoing challenges to Clinton's nominees to be judges, special prosecutors could all but be institutionalized as everyday tools of partisan politics. Maybe they already are. The original intent, of course, was to have a way to investigate possible wrong-doing by powerful federal officials without having a presidential administration investigate itself.
NEWS
February 6, 2015 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said in legal papers Wednesday that the special prosecutor who built a criminal case against her lacked any legal authority and that his work should be discarded as unlawful. Her lawyers noted that the state law authorizing the appointment of special prosecutors expired a dozen years ago. Under current law, they said, only the attorney general can lead a statewide investigative grand jury. This, they said, rendered invalid the decision by a Montgomery County Court judge to appoint lawyer Thomas E. Carluccio as a special prosecutor to investigate whether Kane illegally leaked secret material in an apparent bid to embarrass a critic.
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NEWS
August 18, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, STAFF WRITERS
HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, who was convicted Monday of perjury and other crimes, will resign Wednesday, her once-promising career in state politics felled by a fixation on seeking revenge against enemies that led her to break the law. In a statement announcing her intention to step down, Kane, 50, the state's first woman and first Democrat elected to the office, said only: "I have been honored to serve the people of Pennsylvania and...
NEWS
August 7, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's last-minute bid to delay her perjury trial. The decision, delivered in a one-line order Friday, means that jury selection is expected to begin Monday in Norristown. Kane, 50, is charged with perjury, obstruction, official oppression, and other crimes. She has pleaded not guilty. This week she filed an emergency petition to the Supreme Court , requesting that the charges against her be dropped.
NEWS
July 28, 2016 | By Craig R. McCoy, Staff Writer
A prosecutor in Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's looming criminal trial told a judge Tuesday that Kane's request to tell a jury about her unearthing of offensive emails would mire jurors in "a distraction, a red herring. " But Kane's lawyers said she needed the option of telling the jury about pornographic emails swapped by members of her agency before she took office. Kane is to go on trial Aug. 8 on charges of perjury, official oppression, and other offenses. Prosecutors say she lied about leaking confidential documents to the Daily News to plant a June 2014 story to embarrass a political foe, former state prosecutor Frank Fina.
NEWS
June 1, 2016 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, STAFF WRITERS
Declaring himself dissatisfied with the work of a special prosecutor assigned to investigate "Porngate," the top aide to state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane on Monday abruptly canceled a news conference that had been scheduled for Tuesday for the prosecutor to present his report. Bruce Castor, whom Kane appointed as her solicitor general when she hired him in March, said he had reviewed a draft report by the special prosecutor, Douglas Gansler, and found it confusing and "not comprehensive.
NEWS
May 21, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, STAFF WRITERS
HARRISBURG - The special prosecutor hired by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to investigate the chain of pornographic emails exchanged among state prosecutors, judges, and others will release his preliminary findings by early next month. Douglas Gansler said he would issue an "interim report" in the first few days of June - possibly earlier - that will focus on messages sent by judges or other judicial-branch employees from 2008 through 2015 that contained sexually explicit images, offensive jokes, or other objectionable content.
NEWS
April 29, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane made another bid Wednesday to end the looming criminal trial against her, arguing that she was unfairly targeted for a selective and vindictive prosecution. In court filings, Kane's lawyers contended that her political rivals launched the criminal investigation into her alleged grand jury leak in a bid to stop her from releasing embarrassing information about them - including their exchange of racist and pornographic emails on state computers.
NEWS
March 31, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, STAFF WRITERS
A Montgomery County judge has denied Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's request to dismiss the criminal charges against her and has also rejected Kane's request that she step aside in favor of a judge from another county. Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy agreed with prosecutors that Kane can receive a fair trial in Montgomery County and that the attorney general's case can proceed as scheduled, according to a decision made public Tuesday. Earlier this month, Kane filed legal papers requesting that a judge from outside the county be appointed to preside over her criminal trial, scheduled to begin Aug. 8. Kane had alleged that three judges on the Montgomery County bench are hostile to her and have a "clear interest" in the outcome of her case.
NEWS
March 2, 2016 | By Craig R. McCoy, Staff Writer
The special prosecutor hired by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to examine the evidence in the pornographic email scandal says it is unlikely he will bring criminal charges against anyone involved. Douglas F. Gansler, in an interview Monday, said bringing charges under obscenity statutes would be far-fetched. Such prosecutions have become fairly rare nationwide, he said. As for the former or current officials who swapped pornographic or otherwise offensive emails on government computers, Gansler said their conduct might violate workplace rules, but was hardly criminal.
NEWS
February 22, 2016
The seeds of Kathleen G. Kane's undoing were sown during her first, seemingly flawless, year in office as Pennsylvania's first woman and Democrat to be elected attorney general. In 2013, Kane won national attention for her early stand in favor of marriage equality. But the same year, Kane also secretly shut down an undercover sting investigation that had caught Democratic officials from Philadelphia on tape pocketing cash. After The Inquirer disclosed her decision, prosecutors say, Kane set out to retaliate against the former state prosecutor whom she blamed for the newspaper's story.
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