Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner was impeached Wednesday by Pennsylvania’s Republican-led House of Representatives.
The final vote of 107-85 ran almost entirely along party lines following intense debate on the House floor, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Republicans currently hold a 23-seat majority in the chamber but control now hangs in the balance because of Democrat performance in the midterms.
Krasner office released a statement slamming “elected officials who do not live or vote in Philadelphia” for “trying so hard to erase the votes of Philadelphians” without presenting “a single shred of evidence connecting [their] policies to any uptick in crime.” He claimed that Pennsylvania Republicans “willfully avoided hearing the facts about [his] office” and did not provide him a chance to defend his record, according to CBS.
Following the impeachment vote, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kevin Beninghoff asserted that House Republicans “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.” He accused Krasner of “purposeful ineffectiveness in combatting the crime and violence crisis gripping the city” making his impeachment “the right thing to do.”
The Pa. House voted to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner on Wednesday, advancing the effort to remove him from office.
Debate on the House floor was deeply divided and fiery before a 107-85 vote largely along party lines. https://t.co/inuUsmfQSv
— The Philadelphia Inquirer (@PhillyInquirer) November 16, 2022
The next steps for Republicans will be a trial in the GOP controlled Pennsylvania State Senate, which requires a two-thirds majority for conviction and removal, The Wall Street Journal reported. No information has been given about when a trial will be held.
Krasner, who was reelected for a second term last year, has been blamed for a surge in homicides and violent crime in Philadelphia. First elected in 2017, Krasner has expressed support for “dramatically reducing the number of prisoners held” as part of progressive reforms to Philadelphia’s criminal justice system, according to his website. (RELATED: Target Blames ‘Organized Retail Crime’ Surge For $400 Million Profit Loss)
Philadelphia has seen a surge in violent crime and homicides, which are on pace to eclipse last year’s record, Axios reported in September.
An investigation by the Pennsylvania House GOP focusing on violent crime in Philadelphia recorded a 4.46% rise in violent crime compared to 2021 figures. A 30.74% surge in property related offenses and a near 49% spike in robberies committed with a firearm. Violent crime in Philadelphia accounted for 47.9% of the state’s total last year, based on data from the Pennsylvania State Police noted in the report. So far in 2022, the city’s police department has recorded 5% fewer homicides after a record high 562 were tallied in 2021.