NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The trial of Kathleen Kane is underway, opening statements first thing today, followed by the first of the prosecution’s witnesses.
Revenge is a dish best served cold. That’s prosecutor Michelle Henry’s first line in the commonwealth’s opening statements — quoting she says, attorney general Kathleen Kane — laying out the how and why of the alleged leak of grand jury documents by Kane. She laid out the timeline, and how the leak was orchestrated. And then the cover up, including Henry says five lies by Kane under oath in front of the grand jury.
The defense opened with a biography of Kane, raised in Scranton, then into the Lackawanna District Attorney’s office after law school. But when they started into her 2012 campaign for Attorney General, two objections from prosecutors, the first over-ruled, the second resulting in an in-chambers sidebar.
Shargel back in front of the jury skipped ahead to the alleged leak, saying the alleged feud is manufactured by the prosecution, asking why the chief law enforcement officer of Pennsylvania would be concerned with an assistant district attorney.
Henry laid out the why behind the leak: revenge, a motive as old as time, Henry said. And then the how, an AG’s office employee and Kane’s campaign adviser leaked what prosecutors say was secret grand jury information to a reporter.
Kane is charged with leaking secret grand jury information in what prosecutors say was an effort to make political rivals look bad, and then, prosecutors say she lied to cover it up.
If you like political intrigue this case has it all. Kane and her meteoric rise to power, then just as quickly crashing back to earth following the investigation, criminal charges, and the suspension of her law license.
Her defense has given a glimpse of their defense, posing Kane as an outsider, elected to shake up the system, then targeted by insiders of a system that didn’t want to be shaken up.
Her attorney, Gerald Shargel, who once represented New York mobsters John Gotti and Sammy “The Bull” Gravano early on claimed illicit emails – dubbed “porngate” – would be key to her defense, but the judge, Montgomery County’s Wendy Demchick Alloy has ruled those emails can not be brought in to the case.