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NORRISTOWN — In late July 2014, a few weeks after raising concern over a Daily News article containing information about a halted 2009 grand jury investigation, Bruce Beemer received a phone call from Attorney General Kathleen Kane. He knew the call was coming. They had spoken earlier in the morning. But the responses he heard from Kane, he said, made his heart sink “a little.”
Beemer, second-in-command under Kane at the time, recounted details of the call this morning in court as he continued to express confidence the leak of grand jury material to the Daily News at issue in Kane’s perjury and obstruction case came from the Office of the Attorney General.
When he received the call, Beemer had just sat down for lunch at Momo’s, a restaurant near the Attorney General’s office in Harrisburg. He went outside to an alleyway and proceeded to speak with Kane for 44 minutes about the article and a recently started special investigation looking into who might’ve leaked the grand jury information.
Kane started by saying she wanted to end the special investigation by challenging it to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Beemer had previously told the judge in charge of the special investigation the AG’s Office would give full cooperation.
“When she said that I was immediately concerned,” said Beemer, responding to questioning from prosecutor Michelle Henry. “How would we do this? I had been operating under the belief that this was the right course of action and we really should get to the bottom of all this. It was kind of how the conversation let out. I could feel my heart pound a little bit. I was concerned.”
Beemer said Kane proceeded to go through multiple parts of the material that had been released and argued none of it was grand jury material. It included details about accumulated evidence and what witnesses had said.
“I believe no doubt this was grand jury material,” Beemer said. “If the material that’s in that document can be released we might as well do away with grand jury secrecy.”
He also explained the first time he spoke with Kane about the Daily News article, when it ran on June 6, 2014. He said he asked if he could look into it because he thought the leak had come from the AG’s Norristown office.
“She said, ‘don’t worry about it,’” Beemer said. “‘It’s not a big deal. We have more important things to do.’”
Beemer who began testifying Tuesday, spoke to prosecutors for about an hour this morning. The defense proceeded to question the details of the first time they spoke, pointing out that the order for a special investigator into the matter of the leaked grand jury material had been made May 29, a week before the article had been published and before the conversation in which he said Kane told him not to worry about it.
A short recess was called just before 10:30 a.m., with the defense still questioning Beemer.
When Beemer first read the article about the halted 2009 investigation and for several weeks after, he said he believed someone in the AG’s Norristown office had leaked the info — not anyone in Harrisburg.
Asked by the prosecution whether he still believed that was the case after his July phone call with Kane, Beemer said, “I feared that it was not.”