In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Attorney General Kathleen Kane told reporter Sara Ganim that the pornographic emails sent between top-state officials included pictures of elderly women and children.
“When I saw them, they literally took my breath away,” Kane said when describing the images. “They are deplorable: hardcore, graphic, sometimes violent emails that had a string of videos and pictures depicting sometimes children, old women. Some of them involved violent sexual acts against women.”
Kane did not mention who sent the images. She did add that she was being prevented from investigating the e-mail scandal because of court orders.
Lanny Davis, a spokesman for Kathleen Kane, said the two images he saw were inappropriate, but only “borderline” child porngraphy. “I wouldn’t say over the line, but I would say very close”, Davis concluded.
The Philadelphia Inquirer had additional details on some of the images.
Last week, Kane disciplined 30 staff members in regards to the emails.
Update: Kane’s office has backed off a bit from her earlier claims.
“We are not saying that it reached the level of child pornography,” Kane’s spokeswoman Renee Martin stated. “I think what she said is accurate. The images are deplorable. And some contained seniors and children.”
Update 2: Kane’s spokeswoman Renee Martin is now walking back the walk back:
“When I said that the Pennsylvania Attorney General has decided not to prosecute regarding the emails as pornography, including depictions of children contained in some emails, I misspoke.”
“In fact, the Attorney General has not made a decision one way or the other in light of the recent published opinion of the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that the emails he had seen were ‘clearly pornographic’ and may be criminal. As a result of the issuance of a court order, the Attorney General cannot explain her views on the status of these emails, as she explained in a public statement she read prior to her testimony before the Grand Jury on Monday and on CNN on Tuesday night.”