June 28, 2016

House Kane Impeachment Subcommittee Authorizes Subpoenas, Protective Orders

The House Subcommittee on Courts charged with investigating the impeachment of indicted Attorney General Kathleen Kane met briefly Tuesday to authorize the use of subpoenas to continue their investigation.
“We did conduct a number of informal interviews and there’s certainly a lot of information that we need to obtain and that’s of interest to us and much of that is only available via subpoena,” said subcommittee Majority Chairman Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery). “I sort of always expected we would have to subpoena some information over the summer and, as we head into the summer, that’s where we are.”
The Subcommittee also authorized the use of legal work to seek anti-retaliation protective orders for Office of Attorney General staff who may be called on to testify during the course of impeachment proceedings.
“I think it is incumbent upon us to ensure that those protections are in place so that people’s jobs aren’t on the line,” Rep. Stephens said. “You should never be threatened with the loss of your career or your position by virtue of your cooperating with your investigation.”
One thing Rep. Stephens said the Subcommittee will be focusing on during its impeachment investigation is impeachable actions outside of the alleged criminal activity of the attorney general currently being deliberated in Montgomery County.
“Our mandate is to identify misconduct,” he said. “In order to determine whether or not there was misconduct, we need to review further materials, and some of those materials are only available to us via subpoena.”
Rep. Stephens said the investigation will not be working along any mandated timelines.
“I said from the beginning that the investigation will take as long as it takes to do a fair and thorough investigation,” he said. “I wasn’t going to be bound by timelines and I still am not bound by timelines. My obligation is to conduct a fair and thorough investigation and that’s what we’re doing and it’ll take as long as it takes.”
Rep. Stephens stated the subcommittee will continue working over the summer and plans to hold hearings on the impeachment investigation.
He said Attorney General Kane will be given an opportunity to testify if she so chooses.
The House authorized the impeachment investigation in February by a vote of 170 to 12  on House Resolution 659 (Everett-R-Lycoming).
The only other meeting or hearing held by the Subcommittee was on February 23.
Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) is the Majority Chair of the Subcommittee and Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery) is the Minority Chair.
(PLS Reporter contributed to this report.)
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