Pennsylvania Capital-Star, 10/26/22: “A Republican state lawmaker from Philadelphia introduced articles of impeachment against District Attorney Larry Krasner on Wednesday, days after the committee investigating Krasner’s office released a report blaming his policies for rising crime in the state’s largest city.
“The city of Philadelphia cannot afford to wait any longer for us to take action on what we already know to be true. That Krasner is responsible for the rise in crime across our city due to his dereliction of duty to prosecute the guilty and to protect the innocent,” Rep. Martina White, R-Philadelphia, who is the prime sponsor of the articles, said in a news conference Wednesday morning.
Republicans are offering two articles. They accuse Krasner of “misbehavior in office” because he failed to enforce the law, endangering city residents and visitors and bringing the district attorney’s office into disrepute; and that his failure to cooperate obstructed the committee’s investigation.
‘When we look at what we heard during the hearings … what has been said by law enforcement and what I know and every single day I hear in the news, we know the policies of the current Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner are directly correlated to the breakdown of law and order,’ House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre, said.
The announcement of articles of impeachment, less than two weeks before the midterm elections in which the subject of rising crime has played an outside role, was unexpected.
The chairperson of the Republican-led House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order said Monday that the panel would continue its investigation of Krasner, a Democrat, and issue a final report and recommendations before the end of the legislative session next month.
The articles are the most concrete step toward impeaching Krasner since Republican lawmakers in the state House called for his removal from office earlier this year, citing soaring homicide numbers that are now approaching 1,000 fatal shootings since January 2021.
The House voted to empanel the select committee this summer and although its chairperson, Rep. John Lawrence, R-Chester, has said the five-member panel has been working to gather evidence and take testimony, it has held only two days of public hearings.
Krasner has decried the investigation as politically motivated, and said the report the committee released Monday is based on cherry-picked witnesses and faulty interpretations of data.
Krasner, who was overwhelmingly re-elected last year, and community advocates in Philadelphia, say the impeachment effort is intended to nullify the votes of city residents who approve of Krasner’s policies.
‘We view this as a Republican test run to overturn elections, particularly elections in progressive communities and black and brown communities whose policies they do not agree with,’ Robert Saleem Holbrook, director of the Abolitionist Law Center, said in a call with Krasner and reporters on Tuesday.