Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane promised Wednesday an even broader investigation of offensive emails on government computers - a search for "filth" on "every public server over which it was circulated."
In a statement issued shortly after a state Senate panel took a key step toward removing her from office, Kane said she would appoint a team of special prosecutors to investigate the messages.
Next week, Kane said, she would detail "prosecutorial powers" they would have to pursue any violations of criminal, civil, or ethics laws.
She also called on the Justice Department to investigate several federal prosecutors who took part in the email exchanges.
Kane has been raising an alarm about emails containing pornography or other offensive material exchanged on state computers since she discovered last year that her agency's servers had been a hub for the transmission of such messages.
With Wednesday's statement, Kane is advocating an investigation of whether offensive emails had also been exchanged on other state servers, such as those of the legislature or the governor's office.
Last month, Kane disclosed that her email servers had captured offensive emails of Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin.
She has also called for the firing of three former state prosecutors who now work for Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, saying they had been "peddlers of pornography and obscenity." At the same time, Kane has refrained from firing at least eight current prosecutors on her staff who took part in the pornography exchanges. Instead, she suspended them or had critical letters placed in their personal files.
Ronald D. Castille, the former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, who was one of the first to call for a special prosecutor to investigate the offensive emails, said Wednesday that the probe should also examine complaints that the attorney general had withheld offensive emails for political purposes.
Kane is awaiting trial on charges of perjury and other offenses. She has pleaded not guilty and blamed the charges on enemies critical of her investigation of the emails.