After Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said last week that the senior judge overseeing the grand jury investigation of Jerry Sandusky had recklessly leaked information, another judge told her to prove it.
Senior Judge John M. Cleland gave her a week to come up with evidence showing the alleged leak had impacted the Sandusky case.
On Wednesday, Kane said she didn't have any.
Cleland, who is hearing Sandusky's appeal of his 2012 sexual-assault conviction, set the deadline in response to Kane's sharp criticism a week ago of Senior Judge Barry Feudale.
In a court order Wednesday, Cleland said the attorney general had told the court that she had "no knowledge of any emails that prove such leak." He did not disclose further details of Kane's response.
Raising the ante, Cleland ordered Kane to submit to questioning on Thursday in Harrisburg by him and by Sandusky's appeals lawyer about her statements. The session will be closed to reporters and the public.
He also said her sealed reply did not fully comply with his order that she disclose "any information" she had to justify her rhetoric a week ago, when she accused Feudale of leaking documents.
At that time, Kane said: "The seriousness of this reckless breach of sealed Supreme Court documents, orchestrated by the presiding judge of a state investigative grand jury, with attorneys and the very reporters who have covered some of the Sandusky, Computergate, and Bonusgate cases, cannot be overstated."
Her agency, she noted in her statement then, was fighting post-conviction appeals from Sandusky, the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 young boys over many years, and appeals in the landmark corruption cases that resulted in the convictions of two dozen lawmakers and aides.
Meanwhile, Feudale on Wednesday fired back at Kane. He said he had evidence, including investigative documents, that Kane had "committed criminal and unethical acts," ranging from watering down criminal cases to shutting down leak investigations.
Kane's spokesman, Chuck Ardo, responded by saying that Feudale had leveled charges "without providing a scintilla of evidence."
Last week, Kane released an email exchange in 2013 between Feudale and two Inquirer reporters which she maintained shows the judge leaked confidential court documents about an unrelated case.
In the emails, Feudale considers making public the state Supreme Court's order removing him as the presiding judge of an investigative grand jury, and a follow-up order by the court rejecting his appeal for reconsideration. In the email, Feudale asked the reporters to "not reveal me as the source."
Feudale forwarded some of those 2013 exchanges with the reporters to Frank Fina, the lead prosecutor in the Sandusky case, which Kane believes demonstrates a too-chummy relationship between the two men.
Kane, now awaiting trial on criminal charges of leaking confidential grand jury material, had Feudale removed from his post in 2013 as a judge presiding over one of the state's key investigative grand juries. He had held the job a dozen years.
She said Feudale had insulted her and a previous attorney general, and engaged in erratic behavior.
Feudale's response has been that Kane trumped up the charges because he was a critic of her leadership.
On Wednesday, Ardo said Kane's remarks a week ago should not have been construed as her raising an alarm that Feudale might have leaked information about the Sandusky investigation.
He said she was merely saying that he had once sought to disclose "protected information" in another matter, raising questions about his fitness to be a judge.
When Sandusky's appeals lawyer, Alexander Lindsay of Butler, Pa., first raised the issue of the alleged leaks in late September, Ardo provided conflicting statements in the office's response.
At first, he said there was no evidence leaks came from anyone associated with the prosecutor's office. Hours later, he said Kane "has strong suspicions that the leaks came from people associated with this office."
"The attorney general herself is not convinced that the leaks did not emanate from the Office of Attorney General and will comply with any subpoena seeking information about email traffic between this office and the judge," Ardo said.
On Wednesday, however, Ardo said Kane's remarks at that time referred to possible leaks from other parts of the Sandusky investigation, not the grand jury phase.
Lindsay, Sandusky's appeals lawyer, could not be reached for comment.