Facing a mountain of criticism from local and national news agencies as well as a firestorm of commentary from social media sites, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett backed down on his subpoenas yesterday.
Earlier this month, his office issued a subpoena demanding private information on users critical of his campaign. With growing accusations that his office has improperly flexed its muscle to help his gubernatorial campaign, perhaps they finally realized that flexing their muscle to help his gubernatorial campaign might not be the best way to respond.
Because if he was truly right — if he truly believed he had such powerful evidence that he needed to invoke the power of a grand jury in order to hear it — he should never have backed down. You don’t give up a fight when you’re right, and we don’t pay our politicians to back down when they’re pursuing a just cause.
Let’s assume — for the sake of argument — that Corbett’s subpoenas really were part of a criminal investigation. And let’s assume that the use of a grand jury to seek evidence for a criminal trial that has already concluded is somehow appropriate. And, just to play devil’s advocate, let’s assume that CasablancaPA really is Brett Cott.
Assuming Corbett was right on all counts, that leaves just one question unanswered:
Either CasablancaPA is not Cott, or the account password has been shared across multiple people. Tom Corbett was either wrong in his assumption about the account’s true owner, or he willfully used his office’s power to obtain the names and IP addresses of innocent citizens who happened to criticize his campaign.