After two years of pledging to fight, of promising to air the truth in the face of all those bent on railroading her, the opportunity had finally arisen for Kathleen Kane to stand up in court and tell her side under oath. The time had finally come for the state's top law enforcement official to speak in her own defense.
She chose silence.
An attorney general on trial for perjury and official oppression for allegedly leaking secret grand jury material and lying about it, crimes that could cost her her law license and freedom, decided now that she had nothing to say.
After hearing the prosecution's evidence, her lead attorney, famed mob lawyer Gerald Shargel, thought it best that Kane stay mum.
The attorney general agreed with the mob lawyer.
Kane's B-movie drama playing in an ornate Montgomery County courtroom would have no showdown. The defense called no witnesses. It rested Friday without presenting a case.
Closing arguments were set for Monday.
And that was that.
Shargel, whose searing cross-examination skills once earned mob kingpin John Gotti an acquittal, was mostly silent during the trial. No matter, Kane had four other lawyers in court. And in fairness, someone accustomed to a mobster's murderous machinations could be forgiven for napping through the alleged criminal sins of the maladroit attorney general.
Indeed, the story that played out in Montgomery County last week was more criminal comedy than criminal enterprise.
Less "cloak and dagger," as prosecutor Michelle Henry described it, than sorry slapstick. A spectacle of stupid with Kane dead center, and her reckless aides in supporting roles.
The jaw-dropping moments came Thursday, when Kane's former political consultant, Joshua Morrow, who had switched stories in the past, sang a new, very damning tune. He said he and Kane orchestrated the leak of grand jury evidence to the Daily News to embarrass former state prosecutor Frank Fina, whom Kane suspected of leaking a damaging story about her to the Inquirer.
Instead of letting her first brush of bad press blow over, prosecutors argued, the political novice who had swept into office as a promised reformer went full-blown Nixonian.
"This is war," she declared. And in that war, reputations were ruined, institutions were bloodied, and the promise that accompanied her into office was wasted.
In a reminder that the tentacles of corruption in Pennsylvania are so far-reaching that they sometimes intersect, a drunk-sounding Morrow was picked up on a phone call recorded on a wiretap in a separate political corruption case. He was complaining over Kane's handling of the leak.
There were texts.
"Where's my story?" Kane badgered Morrow. "I'm dying here while you're out drinking."
When a judge began investigating the grand jury breach, Morrow said he and Kane plotted a cover-up over lunch at the Bellevue - that came after Kane's security detail took him to the hotel parking garage and searched him with a security wand to make sure he wasn't wired up.
A nagging question arose as the evidence built: "Can't anyone handle a simple leak?"
But as amateur and farcical as Kane's bumblings may seem, the damage is real and lasting.
In Pennsylvania, politicians don't usually go to jail for leaking grand jury materials.
But they do for lying to grand juries. They do for making a mockery out of the highest law enforcement office in the state - for leaving it a demoralized, burning heap.
And the damage stretches to Philly, where District Attorney Seth Williams weakened his office's reputation in his ill-conceived effort to protect Fina and other former state prosecutors who joined his anticorruption unit only to be exposed by Kane's airing of pornographic and racist emails they exchanged on state servers.
For her part, Kane seemed unperturbed Friday, whispering to her attorneys, nodding along with testimony, seeming relaxed as if she were smiling her way through a happy hour.
When she was briefly sworn in, Kane, it seemed, had herself forgotten what side of the law she now occupied.
The Commonwealth was resting, she told Montgomery County Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy, before quickly correcting herself. "Sorry, force of habit - the defense."
And with that, Kathleen Kane left the stand.