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Pennsylvania attorney general sought revenge in illegal leak: prosecutor

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Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane illegally leaked grand jury information to a reporter in an effort to secure political payback against a rival, a prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday as Kane’s criminal trial began.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold,” prosecutor Michelle Henry said in her opening remarks in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in Norristown, a Philadelphia suburb. “She knew it was wrong but she wanted revenge and covered it up with lies.”

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The case has riveted the state’s political circles for more than a year. Kane, who has denied wrongdoing and refused to resign, is charged with perjury, obstruction and other counts. If convicted, she could receive up to seven years in prison and lose her law license.

Henry said Kane, 50, the state’s first female and first Democrat to be elected attorney general, sought to embarrass prosecutor Frank Fina because she believed he was the source of a 2014 Philadelphia Inquirer story about Kane’s decision to drop a bribery prosecution of several black Democratic legislators.

Kane claimed the investigation was tainted by racism, while Fina, who headed the investigation, was angered by her accusation, according to the story.

Prosecutors say Kane retaliated by instructing subordinates to leak documents to a reporter showing Fina failed to prosecute a case involving Jerome Mondesire, a former official of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP.

But Kane’s lawyer, Gerald Shargel, said Kane barely knew Fina – saying he quit 10 minutes after she took office in 2013 -and that she did not knowingly leak any grand jury material.

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“She was upset, yes, but that’s not motive to commit a crime,” he said. “So she’s going to sacrifice all she’s worked for? She’s going to give all that up?”

Kane previously claimed prosecutors pursued the case to block her from releasing emails with racist and sexually explicit content exchanged among judges, prosecutors and other officials. She found the emails while investigating the child molestation case against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

But Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy has barred testimony regarding those allegations.

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The emails, which were released by Kane after much court wrangling, led Fina to quit his job with the Philadelphia District Attorney, and claimed the jobs of two state Supreme Court justices and several other state officials in what became known as “Porngate.”

The trial is expected to last all week. It remains unclear whether Kane will testify.

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(Editing by Joseph Ax and Bill Trott)


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Veteran ex-Trump supporter: ‘Real veterans who remember their oath will support impeachment’

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In an op-ed published in The Times of Israel this Wednesday, an Army veteran who has since renounced his support of President Trump accused the President of being "unpatriotic."

According to David Weisman, "real veterans who remember their oath will support impeachment."

"When I first got into politics, as I have mentioned numerous times, I thought the Republican Party was the party of upholding the Constitution and ethical principles," Wesiman writes. "I took the word of pundits thinking Republicans stood for truth, justice, and the American way. I never questioned their integrity when they condemned President Obama. Why? Because they were religious and it didn’t occur to me they would lie. Years later, if you are aware of my story, I learned that most of the demonizing of President Obama was propaganda. I’ve also learned to read the fine print of the Constitution because there’s more involved than just the right of free speech and the right to bear arms. Lots of nuance to acknowledge."

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WATCH: Trump whines to Turkish president he only takes questions from ‘friendly reporters’

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In a press conference Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, President Donald Trump openly reminded that he only takes questions from people on his side.

"Would you like to pick somebody?" Trump asked Erdo?an after taking a question from the far-right OANN. "A friendly person from Turkey, please. Friendly. Only friendly reporters. There aren’t too many of them around."

Trump has increasingly refused to take questions from reporters who ask him actual questions that he both knows the answer to and will make him look good.

The White House hasn't hosted a "daily press briefing" for 247 days and not at all under the new press secretary, Stephanie Grisham. She has, however, had time to appear on Fox News multiple times to speak for the White House.

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Fox legal analyst: Today was a good day for anyone who wants to shorten the Trump presidency

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As the first public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry against President Trump wrapped up this Wednesday, former assistant US attorney and Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy said that he originally expected Republicans' "best pitch" to be that the Democrats' impeachment inquiry hasn't demonstrated anything impeachable.

"Instead what they've tried to do is go at this by saying, 'Nothing bad happened, it was perfect,'" McCarthy said, adding that the latter tactic will open them up to an "itemization of a number of irregularities that happened and a lot of very admirable and articulate government witnesses getting on the witness stand to say, 'This shouldn't have happened, that shouldn't have happened, this is a departure from American interests, a departure from American norms.'"

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