A lawyer for embattled Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said Saturday that she would not resign if charged with leaking confidential grand jury information to a newspaper.
Lanny J. Davis, a former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, said Kane was being subjected to a "one-sided, biased investigation."
"This railroad train seems to me to be driven by some men with grudges, men who are bitter and angry at being exposed and professionally embarrassed - men who have political agendas to railroad Kathleen Kane out of office and destroy her career," he said.
Davis said any suggestion that she illegally leaked confidential information was "completely false."
At a news conference in Philadelphia, Davis rejected any suggestion that Kane had committed perjury before a grand jury. "She was truthful at all times," he said.
People familiar with the grand jury investigation say the panel has recommended that Kane, 48, be charged criminally for leaking secret material in a bid to embarrass a political foe by planting an article in the Philadelphia Daily News.
Sources have said she could face perjury and contempt-of-court charges.
Kane is Pennsylvania's first female and Democratic elected attorney general.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman must now decide whether to prosecute the state's highest law enforcement official.
Without confirming that a grand jury presentment had been turned over to Ferman, Davis said he hoped the district attorney would not bring a case against the attorney general.
"Kathleen Kane will be vindicated if no charges are brought and acquitted if charges are brought," he said.
Davis noted that the judge overseeing the grand jury investigation and the special prosecutor leading it are Republicans.
Davis said Kane was facing a "stacked deck" in an inquiry that he said had unfairly muzzled her from defending herself. He called the investigation "shameful."
He said Kane had been targeted by men who were unhappy at her reviews of her predecessor's handling of the investigation of serial child rapist Jerry Sandusky and of pornography exchanged on state computers on state time by staff in the Attorney General's Office before she took office.
He did not name those he said had targeted Kane, saying he was constrained from doing so by a court order issued by the judge overseeing the grand jury.
The Philadelphia Daily News story at issue reported that Kane was reviewing an old case - a 2009 investigation that had raised questions about supposed "questionable spending" by a Philadelphia civil rights leader, J. Whyatt Mondesire. Mondesire, who was never charged, has denied any wrongdoing.
The story suggested that a former state prosecutor, Frank G. Fina, had not looked into the matter aggressively. Kane and Fina have been at odds over a series of major past cases, including a sting investigation begun by Fina but ended by Kane.
The Daily News story cited a 2014 memo about the 2009 case. Davis said Kane had rightly concluded that the memo was not covered by grand jury secrecy rules.
The Daily News account also quoted extensively from a memo drafted when the 2009 grand jury probe was active. Davis said Kane had not authorized the release of that memo and did not know how the newspaper had obtained it.
Asked whether Kane would accept responsibility for the release of the 2009 document, Davis said she would not because she has "no idea" how the newspaper got that document.
Elected in a landslide in 2012, Kane saw her image take a hit last year after The Inquirer revealed that she had secretly shut down Fina's undercover sting investigation, which caught five public officials on tape taking money or a $2,000 bracelet.
Kane, who inherited the investigation from her predecessors, called the probe "half-assed" and possibly tainted by racial targeting.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams subsequently took over the investigation and later announced the bribery arrests of three former or current Democratic elected officials from Philadelphia. One pleaded guilty to a conflict-of-interest charge. The two others admitted guilt to a grand jury, Williams said.
The investigation is continuing.