DA Krasner to fight impeachment effort at Pa. House hearing in Philly

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Pennsylvania House Republicans will hold a hearing today over what they say is Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s “willful refusal” to tackle what they say is “unchecked violent crime” in the city.

The hearing comes after the Pennsylvania State House voted to hold him in contempt for failing to comply with the subpoena of the House Committee on Restoring Law and Order. The committee is operating in tandem with a Republican-led effort to impeach Krasner.

House Republicans have been working since June to impeach Krasner under Pennsylvania law which allows the legislature to remove essentially any public official from office with a majority vote from the House, and a two-thirds vote from the Senate.

Krasner will continue his effort to defend his office’s actions and convince people he is not the cause of Philly’s violent epidemic.

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The progressive DA, who was re-elected last year with 70% of the vote, has been mounting his defense in the media including after Tuesday’s school shooting in Roxborough, when he was questioned about how plentiful guns are in the city.

“The sentences for possession of guns are longer in Philadelphia than any other category of cities,” said Krasner. “Long sentences are happening here longer than the rest of the state. But it did not stop this. We have to work not only on modern enforcement, but we have to work every way we can on prevention.”

The DA did meet with the Philadelphia House delegation to state his case, and sent a letter to the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order, saying he wants to appear at the meetings and requested that they be relocated from the Navy Yard to a larger, more accessible venue.

Krasner has had two rallies of support in as many weeks this month. He held a rally at Mother Bethel AME Church in mid-September bringing in politicians, and civic and religious leaders. The following Monday, he gathered with a second group of supporters, which he said couldn’t attend the church rally, at his weekly news conference on cases his office was working.

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At one of the rallies, Krasner said he’d work to bring what he called “busloads of people” from the churches to the hearings at the Navy Yard, which he believes is not convenient and easily accessible for the public.

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