In a hasty change in tone, the top aide to Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has backed down from his criticism of the Porngate report, whose public debut he abruptly canceled Monday.
Bruce L. Castor Jr., Kane's solicitor general, on Tuesday called the report by special prosecutor Douglas Gansler "objective," "independent," and "extensive." He said the interim report would be released untouched, perhaps during a news conference next week, albeit with an "addendum" to address Castor's concerns.
On Monday, Castor had called the report "incomplete," "not comprehensive," and hard to follow. He dropped that criticism in a terse media statement issued late Tuesday afternoon.
The addendum is expected to address Castor's initial complaint that the report had not devoted enough attention to whether troubling emails exchanged among prosecutors and judges might have compromised cases.
In an interview Tuesday, Castor rejected any suggestion that he had reversed his position.
"To say that I reversed course is completely false," he said. "The report will not be issued until additional information that I believe is necessary for a full picture in the pornographic, misogynistic part of the investigation is attached."
Gansler, the former attorney general of Maryland, maintained his silence for a second day Tuesday. He again declined to return calls seeking comment on Castor's criticism - and on the issue of whether Castor's involvement violated Kane's pledge that Gansler would produce an independent report.
Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College, said he considered Castor's handling of the situation another in a series of missteps in Kane's tenure.
Castor's new position "is directly contradictory to what he said earlier," Madonna said. "It's hard to have any confidence left in what the attorney general does."
While Gansler's addendum will address Castor's worries about the email exchanges' possible impact on cases, other analysts who have reviewed the messages have said none contained improper communications among lawyers and judges.
On Sunday, Castor, the former district attorney of Montgomery County, said he wanted to see whether the email communications had interfered with the administration of justice.
"If the answer is no, that's not what happened, then we can reassure the public," he said. "But if the answer is yes, then we need to take measures to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"I want an answer, and I wasn't getting it."
A year after taking office, Kane, a Democrat, learned that her agency's email servers had been an electronic hub for the exchange of pornography-laden emails among state and federal prosecutors, judges, and others.
Among the scores of men - and a few women - involved were two state Supreme Court justices and several former top officials of the Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's administration whom Kane singled out for public shaming. The justices and some of the officials resigned.
Kane has blamed her legal troubles on "porn peddlers" who she says orchestrated a criminal case against her to cover up their emails.
She is to go on trial in August on charges of perjury and other offenses for allegedly leaking confidential grand jury documents in a bid to embarrass a foe, and later lying about it under oath.
While naming only a handful of recipients of the emails, Kane fought requests from news organizations under the state's right-to-know law for her to identify all participants.
She promised that Gansler would do that as part of his review. However unlike Kane, Gansler has said he would only name people who had forwarded emails.