A group of state House Republicans announced Monday they are launching an effort to impeach Philadelphia’s progressive District Attorney Larry Krasner to “highlight his absolute dereliction of duty.”
“Lives have been lost,” said Rep. Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington), one of the three lawmakers to begin circulating the impeachment legislation. “Property has been destroyed. And families have been crushed. Enough is enough.”
Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) is also part of the effort, along with Tim O’Neal (R-Washington). “Krasner said six months ago, ‘We do not believe arresting people and convicting them for illegal gun possession is a viable strategy to reduce shooting,'” Ecker noted.
“Since that time there have been nearly 950 people injured or killed as a result of gun violence in Philadelphia,” Ecker continued, “a nearly 7 percent increase over last year. There have been 220 homicides in the city of Philadelphia, 194 fatal shootings, and 796 nonfatal shootings. There’s been an 8 percent increase in shooting incidents in Philadelphia. It’s widespread lawlessness in the city of Philadelphia.”
Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) backs the impeachment effort.
“The lawlessness in Philadelphia has been exasperated by the intentional lack of adequate prosecution by and under Krasner’s direction. That is coming to an end,” White said.
“Impeachment is a rarely used process, but the time has come,” she said. “No longer can we allow law-abiding citizens to live in fear or to be victimized by the criminals who have been emboldened by the district attorney?
“I want to thank my colleagues for standing with Pennsylvanians and announcing they will be introducing articles of impeachment for Larry Krasner. I have co-sponsored the articles and will support my colleagues in every way possible through the process,” White said.
The plan to impeach the progressive distinct attorney echoes the successful effort in California where voters in deep-blue San Francisco threw far-left prosecutor Chesa Boudin out of office two weeks ago. Removing Krasner has support from some legislative heavy hitters.
“Now is the time to have a serious discussion about impeaching Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner,” said Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin). “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.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) called for Krasner’s impeachment when he was campaigning for governor earlier this year.
“Today’s announcement couldn’t come soon enough,” said a spokesman for Corman. “Philadelphians deserve a D.A. who puts dangerous criminals behind bars instead of letting them back out onto the streets to seek more victims.”
A simple majority vote will be required in the House to impeach Krasner. It would take a two-thirds vote for the Senate to convict him.
Dom Giordano, a Philadelphia resident and talk radio host, has long decried Krasner’s handling of crime in the city.
“We’ve been involved in this pounding and pounding away,” said Giordano.
He says he believes Krasner will likely be his own worst enemy when he goes before the House to testify with “his typical arrogance and smugness.
“It’s his arrogance. He’s just one of a kind. These other guys can’t hold a candle to him, the other progressive prosecutors. He’s dug in,” Giordano said.
Giordano noted that after the South Street shooting, Mayor Jim Kenney commented about the violence and the lack of prosecution of crime.
Kenney said, “We cannot accept continued violence as a way of life in our country. Until we address the availability and ease of access to firearms, we will always be fighting an uphill battle.”
That comment from Kenney might also be a turning point, said Giordano.
Giordano said the impeachment will get bipartisan support since Democrats are up for re-election, some facing competitive races.
Krasner did not respond to a request for comment.
However, Rep. Ben Sanchez (D-Abington) called the impeachment effort a “political stunt by three legislators who live nowhere near Philadelphia and who are looking to deflect from the pressure millions of Americans are putting on them right now to enact commonsense gun safety reform.
“I would implore those legislators to work on gun safety legislation to address this problem which has existed long before D.A. Larry Krasner was twice elected. We could start by passing House Bill 980 which would require lost and stolen firearms reporting and help reduce the flow of illegal guns to the City of Philadelphia and its suburbs.”