Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane Withdraws Claim FBI Leaked Recordings to Newspaper

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has dropped a court motion that accused prosecutors of leaking FBI recordings in her perjury and obstruction case to a newspaper.

Kane's lawyers also decided Wednesday to file a prosecutorial misconduct motion in public next week rather than seek to file it under seal.

Defense lawyer Gerald Shargel, after a brief hearing, said the issue had become "a distraction" and added that he doubted they could ever find the culprit behind the leak to the Morning Call of Allentown. He said he had not filed the motion with the intent of dropping it.

"I'm not a game player," said Shargel, a prominent New York criminal lawyer. "The defense in a criminal case is a fluid proposition."

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy noted that the defense had initially sought "significant relief" over the leaked FBI tapes: a change of venue, the disqualification of District Attorney Kevin Steele's office, the quashing of the recordings and the possible dismissal of the case. She put Kane under oath to be sure she agreed with the new strategy announced by her four lawyers.

Kane assured the judge she was on board with the decision.

Kane, a first-term Democrat, is accused of leaking grand jury material to a Philadelphia newspaper to embarrass rivals and then lying about it before a separate grand jury. Shargel also plans to appeal the judge's pretrial ruling that upheld the charges.

Steele calls the claim that his office leaked the FBI phone tapes to an Allentown newspaper "meritless." The tapes include phone calls made by Kane's political consultant, Josh Morrow.

Kane remains in office but, with her law license suspended, won't seek re-election this year.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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