Pennsylvania House Republicans voted on Wednesday to impeach Philadelphia’s George Soros-backed district attorney, Larry Krasner. The leftist attorney’s fate will now be decided by the Republican-controlled state Senate.
What are the details?
Last month, the state House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order accused Krasner of contributing “to a catastrophic rise in violent crime at the expense of public safety” and of failing “to integrate and effectuate his progressive policies with any success.”
The committee’s report on Krasner’s failings was accepted by the House on Oct. 24.
The Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus announced on Oct. 26 that the group was filing to impeach Krasner — something the chamber hasn’t done since ousting a Democrat state supreme court justice in 1994.
On Tuesday, the articles of impeachment against Krasner were approved by the House Judiciary Committee.
Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) explained to Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” why she intended to vote to impeach Krasner: “He has been documented as lying to the courts, including a Supreme Court justice that his aides misled.”
“He’s been accused of misleading a grand jury and violating the civil rights of a police officer. He has disregarded victims of crime as it pertains to sentencing matters,” added White.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that ahead of the impeachment vote on Wednesday, House Speaker Bran Cutler (R-Lancaster) said Krasner had run afoul of the law by attempting to decriminalize or downplay crimes such as petty theft, drug possession, and prostitution.
Cutler stated, “We don’t get to ignore laws. … If we want to change them, we should amend and legislate them differently, not allow one rogue county … to go off the rails and jeopardize the citizens who live there.”
Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Bonner (R-Mercer) said “anarchy and violence will prevail” if elected officials like Krasner can pick and choose what laws to obey.
On Wednesday, the state House successfully voted 107-85 in favor of the motion.
Krasner tweeted after the votes were tallied, “History will harshly judge this anti-democratic authoritarian effort to erase Philly’s votes – votes by Black, brown, and broke people in Philadelphia. And voters will have the last word.”
The impeached Democrat was referencing those who voted to reelect him on Nov. 2, 2021.
Malcom Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) called the result “sad” and “not what we ought to be doing.”
The ACLU of Pennsylvania, whose national board leaders repeatedly called for former President Donald Trump to be impeached, suggested that the use of impeachment for allegedly political purposes was “anti-democratic” and amounted to “absolute political malpractice.”
Elizabeth Randol, legislative director at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said, “This is both a clear political attack on a duly elected official and an effort to disenfranchise the voters of Philadelphia who reelected Mr. Krasner just last year.”
Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff recognized it as a step in the right direction, saying that by “impeaching Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, we put ourselves on the record that we stand with the people of Philadelphia who have been living in fear for their lives and the safety of themselves and their families. We are standing up for those who do not have a voice, but long for safety and freedom from fear.”
Benninghoff, who was reelected in the November general election, added that Krasner “has implemented policies and mismanaged his office in such a way that its purposeful ineffectiveness in combatting the crime and violence crisis gripping the city has contributed to the problem.”
The next step is a trial in the state Senate, the date of which has not yet been set.
The New York Times reported that while the state Senate is controlled by Republicans, the GOP does not have the two-thirds majority required to convict Krasner and give him the boot. Republicans presently have a 29-21 majority, but next year that will be whittled down to a 28-22 majority.
Extra to facing Democrat opposition, there is also reportedly low enthusiasm among Senate Republicans to see this through.
The Democrat overseer of a ‘year of record bloodshed’
Philadelphia scores an 8 on Neighborhood Scout’s crime index, where 100 is the safest. The likelihood of becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 102.
In 2021, the city set an all-time record with 559 murders.
The Philadelphia Office of the Controller reported that, as of Nov. 15, 459 people have been murdered so far this year: 430 of the killings were the result of shootings; 6% of the shooters were reportedly white; 78% were black; and 15% were Hispanic. There were 1,669 victims of nonfatal gun violence in the city.
The House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order’s “Second Interim Report” indicated that as of October, “65% of all violent offenses have been withdrawn by the [district attorney’s office] or dismissed by the courts, resulting in no prosecution for those crimes.”
Violent crimes include murders, nonfatal shootings, rape, robberies, and aggravated assault.
According to the report, a great deal of Philadelphia’s crime can be attributed to Krasner’s progressive policies, his “handling of criminal cases, and … abject failure to respond, in any meaningful way, to the current crisis.”
The report also noted that Krasner’s DAO withdraws cases “at an alarming rate” as compared to district attorney’s offices in other Pennsylvania counties. “The data reveals that in 2019 and 2020, charges associated with certain firearms offenses were withdrawn by the DAO at a rate of 18% and 20%, respectively, compared to the respective statewide averages of 8% and 10%.”