HARRISBURG - A judge overseeing the Bonusgate grand jury held a hearing today to explore whether House Republicans have intentionally withheld emails and other documents requested by state investigators through subpoenas, the Inquirer has learned.
The closed-door hearing before Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Barry F. Feudale was prompted by complaints by Attorney General Tom Corbett who believes lawyers for the GOP caucus were not being forthcoming with all records, according to three sources who asked that their names be withheld.
Details of the hearing remained sketchy, including what if anything the judge ruled.
The allegations appear to contradict what has been the mantra of House GOP leaders for the entire course of the 22-month investigation – that they are cooperating fully with prosecutors.
Steve Miskin, spokesman for House Republicans, reiterated that today, but declined to discuss the hearing.
"The grand jury and its process is sealed and we have been respecting that process," he said. "The fact that someone is talking is evidence that someone is breaking that seal."
Kevin Harley, Corbett's press secretary, declined to comment citing grand jury secrecy rules.
In July, Corbett charged 12 former and current House Democratic legislators and staffers with participating in a massive conspiracy to award taxpayer-funded bonuses to legislative staff who did campaign work.
Since then, the grand-jury probe has widened to include the House Republican caucus. Among other things, investigators are examining whether its leaders used at least two taxpayer-funded databases to improve their chances of winning elections.
No Republican has been charged.