By David DeKok
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) – A lawyer for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane on Monday accused the two main prosecution witnesses in her week long obstruction and perjury trial of telling self-serving lies to protect themselves.
Closing arguments by defense lawyer Seth Farber were the last stage in the trial before Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy gave instructions to the jury and it began deliberating in a politically charged case that has riveted the state for a year.
The charges against Kane stem from allegations that she attempted to gain revenge against former prosecutor Frank Fina by leaking grand jury information to a reporter to embarrass him and then lied about it. She could serve up to seven years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Farber sought to raise questions about the credibility of Adrian King, a former deputy to the attorney general, and Josh Morrow, a political consultant who worked on her campaign.
Both King and Morrow took the stand as prosecution witnesses during the trial to testify about what went on behind closed doors in the attorney general’s office.
“They point fingers at each other and tell lie after lie to protect themselves,” Farber said during his closing arguments in a courtroom in Norristown, outside Philadelphia.
Farber took particular aim at Morrow’s credibility, pointing out that he twice defended Kane’s version of events in sworn grand jury testimony and then flipped to the prosecution after gaining immunity shortly before her trial began.
Defense lawyers have said Kane intended to make a legal leak of information to the press and did not know her aides would include grand jury material. They contend she made “honest mistakes” when testifying to the grand jury, but did not intentionally lie.Kane, who decided against running for re-election in November, chose not to testify in her own defense.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, in his closing arguments, referred only obliquely to the credibility attacks on his main witnesses, saying they were not on trial.
Instead, he offered a painstaking review of the evidence presented during the trial, frequently shouting to drive home his points. Steele highlighted numerous texts and telephone conversations between the attorney general and Morrow that the prosecutor said pointed to Kane’s guilt.
“We submit to you that there are certain things that have the ring of truth,” Steele said. “where the clouds separate and the light comes through.”
(Editing By Frank McGurty and Dan Grebler)