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Criminal Charges Filed Against Attorney General Kathleen Kane

By Alexandria Hoff

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – Criminal charges were officially filed against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, District Attorney Risa Ferman announced Thursday at a news conference.

The top ranking prosecutor in the state will have to surrender to authorities.

The charges come after a lengthy investigation by the Montgomery County District Attorney.

DA Ferman stated, "today is a sad day for the people of Pennsylvania."

It is also alleged a special agent of hers, Patrick Reese, under the instruction of Kane, illegally accessed secret grand jury information, which was then purposely leaked to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Kane has been charged with obstruction of administration of law, official oppression, criminal conspiracy, perjury and false swearing.

One charge is regarding a sealed 2009 investigation which Ferman said today she sees as "an act of revenge" that Kane took to embarrass former state prosecutors who she felt previously made her look bad.

The second half of charges against Kane relate to her testimony over the alleged leak in front of a grand jury.

Ferman stated today that the evidence points to Kane lying to cover up that leak.

"The motivation for these acts, as exposed by the evidence we gathered and quite simply in the attorney general's own words, was 'this is war.' This was her war based upon the evidence, conducted without regard to rules, without regard to the law, and without regard to collateral damage the battle might entail."

Kane has long maintained her innocence and said she would not step down from her position.

According to the Montgomery County DA's office, Kane will turn herself in 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Kane released the following statement regarding the criminal charges filed against her:

"I am very disappointed the district attorney has made the decision to pursue this case. I have maintained my innocence from the day these allegations surfaced and I continue to do so today. I intend to defend myself vigorously against these charges. I look forward to the opportunity to present my case in a public courtroom and move beyond the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that has defined the process to this point."

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