Attorney General Kathleen Kane has picked as her special prosecutor to investigate pornographic emails a man who says he has himself never looked atpornographic material.
“I have not, which I’m happy to say. … Never in my life,” former Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler said of porn Tuesday.
Gansler spoke to Metro about his dislike of pornography at the National Constitution Center after Kane announced his selection as special prosecutor to investigate pornographic, racist and misogynistic content being shared on state government email accounts.
“I’ve never been on a pornographic website in my life,” Gansler said.
If true, that would put Gansler,53, who is married with two sons, in the minority of American men, studies show.
About 66 percent of American men and 41 percent of American women look at pornography at least once a month, studies say.
Canadian researchers from the University of Montrealplanning to study men who have never been exposed to porn reported in 2009 that they couldn’t find a single man who fit that criteria.
A study conducted by the Berlin-based Max Plank Institute for Human Development found that porn watchers literally have smaller brains —although whether that means porn causes small brains, orthe small-brained watch more porn, could not be determined.
But that qualification might make Ganslertheperfect candidate for Kane, whose quest to find and publicize any and all pornographic or offensive emails traded on state email servers —the discovery of which, she has publicly claimed, led to a conspiracy to oust her from office — is close to surpassing the scope of special prosecutor Kenneth Starr’s investigation into President Bill Clinton’s sexual dalliances.
“No woman should go to work and be subjected to consistent treatment of disgusting indignity by woman-haters because they were born with one less body part, which, the last I heard, does not contain any extra brain cells,” Kane said at Tuesday’s announcement.
For someone who has never seen porn, investigating the official email accounts ofPennsylvania officials could be a harsh education.
So far, Kane’s release of porn emails have led to the retirement of state Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, while Justice Michael Eakins’ emails from a private account are being reviewed by the Judicial Conduct Board.
A petition is circulating calling for the firing of three Philadelphia prosecutors who sent or received pornographic and offensive emails while at the Attorney General’s office before Kane was sworn in. Those same prosecutors and a few others whose emails were exposed are suing Kane for defamation, retaliation and invasion of privacy.
Gansler previously served as Attorney General of Maryland until 2015 after failing to win a third term. He said he is being paid a per diem rate that amounts to the same salary the attorney general is paid —$158,000 a year. Gansler is also currently a partner at DC law firm Buckley Sandler LLP.
He didn’t set a budget for the investigation, but noted that the Kane’s special prosecutor investigation into the state’s handling of the Penn State sex abuse scandal, cost about $2 million, and said they would work “expeditiously.”
“We’re going to start with emails. There’s literally tens of thousands of emails…perhaps more than 100,000 emails,” Gansler said.”We just don’t know what’s in those emails.”
Gansler’s mandate is to investigate and prosecute any crimes related to the “improper disclosure of criminal investigative or grand jury matters and the viewing or transmission of sexually explicit, racially or otherwise discriminatory or illegal materials byany current or former members of the Office of Attorney General, any member of the Judiciary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and other public officials,” according to Kane’s order of appointment.
Gansler said the order is “intentionally broad” and speculated that criminal charges arising based on the content of the emails could range fromobstruction of justice, grand jury intimidation, misuse of a grand jury,totransmission of pornographic material,which he said he believes is a misdemeanor.
Kaneis currently under indictment in Montgomery County for leaking confidential grand jury information to the press. She has had her law license suspended by the state Supreme Court, and the state Senate is holding hearings currently over whether she can perform the functions of her job without a license and whether a two-thirds vote of the state legislature could remove her.
Even if she’s gone, Gansler said his work may continue.
“We would hope that whoever would replace General Kane would also be interested,” he said. “The people of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania deserve to have confidence in their judiciary, their Office of Attorney General, their criminal justice system.”