In his first media appearance since a sharply divided state house voted 107 to 85 on Nov. 16 to send indictments against him to the state senate for a trial, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner joined community leaders and Called on efforts by House Republicans to remove him from office, a move to silence Philadelphia voters.
“Never in the history of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has there ever been an attempt to impeach or remove anyone for his policies or ideas,” Krasner said at Monday’s news conference at Philadelphia City Hall.
Krasner was supported by local politicians and community leaders, who shared similar messages about the impeachment process and criticized Harrisburg lawmakers who say they want to make the city safer but are not taking the legislative action needed to bring about change, including Jamie Gauthier, Member of the Philadelphia City Council who said that if they want to make Philadelphia safer, State House legislators should listen to what local officials are asking for.
“I’ve spent my entire three years on the city council urging the city for a more urgent local response, campaigning for record investments in prevention and intervention, and ensuring gun violence is high on the agenda for every single city agency,” said Gauthier on Monday. “Panic tactics and scaremongering don’t make us safer, and disregarding the voices of intelligent, hard-working Philadelphians doesn’t make us safer.”
Community leaders shared a similar message, declaring that investing in communities and schools is the House legislature’s way of proving they care about Philadelphia residents.
Rev. Robert Collier, president of the Philadelphia Black Clergy, compared the impeachment trial to an episode of Law and Order and said House Republicans are wasting their time.
“GOP lawmakers could make better use of their tenure by drafting and enacting sensible gun laws and an assault weapons ban,” Collier said. “If you want to do something positive, do what you were elected to do. It’s not their job to oversee Philadelphia, and it’s not their job to tell us who to vote for.”
State Assemblyman Rick Krajewski, a Philadelphia Democrat, argued that the impeachment allegations were more an indictment of the city’s police department than of Krasner and his progressive policies.
Krajewski noted that many of the crime victims and families who shared their stories with the Chamber’s Special Committee on the Restoration of Law and Order — charged with investigating crimes in Philadelphia during Krasner’s tenure — expressed concerns about how law enforcement was handling their individual cases , not just prosecutorial concerns related to the prosecution.
House Republicans have called the impeachment process a journey not to be taken lightly but necessary to speak up for those who “crave safety and freedom from fear.”
“Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has been indicted by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. No press conference can change that,” Jason Gottesman, a spokesman for the House of Representatives Republicans, said in a statement.
The impeachment process now goes to the State Senate, where a trial would take place and a two-thirds majority would be required to remove Krasner from office. House lawmakers last week named impeachment officers, including state congressmen Craig Williams, Tim Bonner and Jared Solomon. Lawmakers have hinted at the possibility of adding session days to this year’s calendar to hold the trial before the end of the year, but no dates have been set.