HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Three Pennsylvania House Republicans announced Monday they are starting the process of impeaching Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Reps. Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington), Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland), and Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) announced the start of proceedings amid violence across Philadelphia.
According to the representatives, nearly 1,000 people have been injured or killed by gun violence since Jan. 1, 2022, with 220 murders.
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In January, State Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman sent a letter to the state house asking it to begin impeachment proceedings due to a “spike in violence.”
The three members said they are, as of today, circulating a co-sponsorship memo for supporters of Articles of Impeachment they hope to have completed in the near future.
Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) released a statement following the announcement of proceedings beginning.
“Now is the time to have a serious discussion about impeaching Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. Philadelphia’s unchecked crime problem is a statewide concern and the District Attorney’s open refusal to enforce current Pennsylvania law in the city is a clear dereliction of his duty to keep Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians safe. I look forward to seeing what these members come up with as they continue with this very important undertaking.”
“Democracy- and freedom-loving Pennsylvanians will not be fooled by these anti-democratic efforts to de-value Philadelphia’s diverse votes,” said Krasner in a statement Monday. “Philadelphia is not Pennsylvania’s colony. Our votes count in full, not as 3/5ths of a vote.”
Once the Articles of Impeachment are introduced, they will then be referred to a committee. Once the committee approves them, the Articles of Impeachment can be considered by the full House of Representatives.
If approved by the House, there will be a trial in the Senate to determine whether or not Krasner should be removed from office.
“We did not arrive at this decision lightly or easily. In fact, we are taking this action after we have taken significant steps to pass legislation that addresses violent crime in Philadelphia by ensuring our current laws are enforced,” said Kail. “We are starting this process now because the unchecked violent crime in Philadelphia has reached a breaking point due to the willful refusal by District Attorney Krasner to enforce existing laws.”
Ecker detailed what he called Krasner’s “persistent dereliction of duty in willfully refusing to enforce current criminal laws already on the books in Pennsylvania that are designed to keep communities safe.”
“Unfortunately for the people of Philadelphia, and the people of Pennsylvania at large, the problem of violent crime in Philadelphia has reached a point that demands this action be taken,” he said. “Taking this step today and undertaking this process continues what we have been doing and what we need to do to combat violence and crime here in Pennsylvania – ensure the laws already on the books are enforced.”
O’Neal explained that what happens in Philadelphia, especially relative to the issue of violent crime, is ultimately a statewide problem.
“Across the country, people are standing up to unchecked and uncontrolled violence and lawlessness allowed because of radical politicians in district attorneys’ offices, like Larry Krasner,” he said. “Just last week, city businesses said they are thinking of relocating because of spikes in crime. Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s major economic engine, a tourist attraction, and the birthplace of our freedoms. If unchecked crime is keeping businesses and tourists from visiting and locating in Philadelphia, it impacts Pennsylvania as a whole.”
Krasner won the 2021 election with more than 69% of the vote in Philadelphia.