Republicans in the Pennsylvania House filed articles of impeachment against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and said he should be removed from office for embracing left-wing policies that fueled rampant homicide and violent crime numbers.
“I recognize the unprecedented nature of what must be done and am confident our members are up to the task,” Republican Rep. Martina White said at a news conference on Wednesday in announcing articles of impeachment against Krasner, according to NBC News.
GOP lawmakers further accused Krasner of embracing a “progressive criminal justice philosophy that prioritizes criminals over victims” that has led to a record number of homicides in Philadelphia, PhillyVoice reported. “These are the consequences of District Attorney Larry Krasner’s failure in office,” White said, adding that “no public official is above the law.”
“There should be a war on crime. But due to the failed vision and his idea of criminal justice, crime is allowed to wage war on the good people and the great beautiful city of Philadelphia,” Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff said in reference to Krasner.
Pennsylvania’s Constitution gives the state Legislature the capacity to impeach “all civil officers” for “any misbehavior in office or of any infamous crime.” Krasner and others have said that he has not committed a crime or engaged in corruption. Republicans say that his failure to enforce laws is adequate enough for the articles of impeachment.
Surging Crime Rate
Like a number of other U.S. cities, Philadelphia has dealt with a significant increase in violent crime since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. There were about 562 homicides recorded in Philadelphia last year, hitting an all-time high for the city. As of October 2022, the city has recorded 438 homicides, according to media reports.
Krasner has often defended his office’s conviction rate and said that the impeachment attempt is connected to prior Republican efforts to allegedly overturn elections.
“Pennsylvania House Republicans want to distract you from their decades of failed governance that have led to greater economic inequality and the current crisis of gun violence as they have encouraged the flooding of our communities with deadly firearms,” Krasner said in June, while accusing GOP lawmakers of engaging in a “coup” against him.
Last week, Krasner said that recent legislative actions against him are politically motivated and designed to sway the 2022 midterms in Pennsylvania, which has both a Senate and gubernatorial seat up for grabs.
“You have never specified what your basis of impeachment is,” he said in a statement on Oct. 21. “There has been no suggestion of criminal conduct or corruption of any kind. You have never indicated to me or to anyone why I should be impeached, but there is little doubt the Select Committee intends to recommend my impeachment. … Rep. Ecker, one of the members of this committee, even publicly called for my impeachment before the Committee was formed.”
Records have shown that Krasner, when he ran for Philadelphia district attorney in 2017, took nearly $1.7 million from the Philadelphia Justice and Public Safety PAC, a group linked to controversial billionaire investor George Soros.
The Epoch Times has contacted Krasner’s office for comment. His office has not publicly responded to Wednesday’s announcement.