HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order today unanimously moved to recommend that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner be held in contempt due to his refusal to comply with subpoenas issued by the committee last month.
Pennsylvania House Republicans began the process to impeach Krasner earlier this year due to what they say is a “spike in violence” in Philadelphia that Krasner is not addressing. In January, State Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman sent a letter to the state house asking it to begin impeachment proceedings
The selection committee says the vote comes after Krasner twice declined to accept hand-delivered subpoenas issued by the select committee. Lawmakers say Krasner’s lawyers “finally accepted an electronic version of the subpoena, but Krasner and his office said they will not comply with it.”
Krasner has previously called the impeachment process against him a “stunt,” saying “the requirement for impeachment is that you actually be convicted of an offense.”
“This is not a decision we, as a committee, came to lightly,” said Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland), one of five representatives appointed to the bipartisan select committee. “This committee is steadfast in its intention to get to the bottom of the current unrest in Philadelphia and being denied access to important documents hinders progress in achieving that goal.”
“No one, including Philadelphia’s top law enforcement official, is above the law, or above being held accountable,” Ecker said. “It is extremely rare for the House to take up such a measure and this showcases the gravity of the situation in which we find ourselves.”
House Resolution 216 established the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order to investigate, review and make legislative findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives regarding the rising rates of crime in the City of Philadelphia; the city’s use of public funds intended for law enforcement and prosecuting crime; the enforcement of crime victim rights in Philadelphia; and the use of public funds for the purpose of benefitting the city’s crime victims. The resolution authorizes the chairman to subpoena information relevant to the committee’s work.
Once the committee approves any articles of impeachment, they can be considered by the full House of Representatives.
Krasner won the 2021 election with more than 69% of the vote in Philadelphia. Former Democratic Philadelphia mayors Ed Rendell and Michael Nutter have also criticized Krasner’s approach.
“They are entitled to their legacy which includes mass incarceration, it includes the defunding of public schools and prevention, and it includes illegal tactics used by police that have been incredibly harmful. I have chosen a different path,” Krasner said.