Seth Williams’ PAC: Kathleen Kane leaked that FBI probe story to the Inquirer

Seth Williams
District Attorney's Office

The Political Action Committee for Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams says embattled Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is behind a story linking him to an FBI and IRS probe.

In a statement emailed to press late Friday, the Friends of Seth Williams PAC said the front-page Inquirer bombshell about the probe was written by Chris Brennan, the former Daily News reporter who handled the leak at the center of Kane’s criminal charges.

“District Attorney Williams denies these allegations,” according to the statement from Williams campaign spokesman Mike Barley. “His campaign finance records are a matter of public record, and he will cooperate with any authorities who may wish to review them.”

Earlier Friday, Kane’s spokesman, Chuck Ardo, denied any involvement in the Inquirer’s story.

“Neither the attorney general nor this office would have any way of knowing whether or not there is a federal investigation of the district attorney, and certainly had no role in exposing it to the media,” Ardo told Philly Mag‘s Holly Otterbein.

The Inquirer‘s story said Williams was under investigation by the FBI and the IRS for potential misuse of campaign funds, and that a grand jury had been empaneled. Williams has not been charged. However, Kane faces unrelated charges of leaking confidential information to the Philadelphia Daily News in order to embarrass one of her political enemies and then lying in front of a grand jury in order to cover up the leak. Kane has denied the allegations.

The full statement from the Friends of Seth Williams PAC is below:

PHILADELPHIA – The Friends of Seth Williams Campaign Spokesman Mike Barley released the following statement regarding today’s article in The Philadelphia Inquirer:

“Two weeks ago, the affidavit of probable cause issued by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office revealed that Attorney General Kathleen Kane vowed to go after District Attorney Seth Williams, explicitly ‘to make Seth pay.’ Attorney General Kane ordered political operatives to gather negative information regarding District Attorney Williams, and said ‘this is war.’

“Today, on the eve of the preliminary hearing on the charges against her, an article was published by the same reporter to whom Kane provided secret grand jury information in an apparent effort to smear other prosecutors. The article relies on anonymous “sources” to raise allegations against District Attorney Williams related to his campaign finances.

“District Attorney Williams denies these allegations. His campaign finance records are a matter of public record, and he will cooperate with any authorities who may wish to review them.”

According to recently released court documents, Attorney General Kane threatened to go after District Attorney Seth Williams:

“I will not allow them to discredit me or my office,” Kane wrote in the email. “This is war.”

She wrote in an email that she would “make Seth pay.”

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Chris Krewson is the executive director of LION Publishers, a national nonprofit association that serves local journalism entrepreneurs build sustainable news organizations, and the founding editor of Billy Penn. He lives in Havertown.