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A left-wing district attorney in Philadelphia whose campaigns were financed, in part, by liberal billionaire entrepreneur George Soros, has been impeached by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
DA Larry Krasner’s approach to crime has been blamed for dramatic surges in violence and homicides in the city since he was first elected in 2017. He was reelected in 2021.
“Philadelphia’s elected Democratic prosecutor faces a state Senate trial and possible removal from office after the Republican-led state House voted Wednesday to impeach him over progressive policies he has enacted amid rising crime in the city,” CBS News reported on Wednesday.
“Lawmakers voted 107-85 to impeach District Attorney Larry Krasner, setting the stage for what would be the first Pennsylvania Senate impeachment trial in nearly three decades. Republicans currently have a 29-21 majority in the state Senate, going to 28-22 early next year, and a two-thirds vote of the senators present would be required to remove Krasner,” the report continued.
"Krasner, who overwhelmingly won re-election last year, has nevertheless denied that the city is facing a crime wave."https://t.co/IlOuYDB8S2
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) November 18, 2022
While Krasner’s defenders called the impeachment vote a “sham” and a “political stunt,” they also pointed to the fact that he was elected to his post twice with substantial majorities. His Democratic defenders also claim that there is “no evidence” to justify such a drastic measure.
However, Republicans have long cited Krasner’s leftist policies, such as moving to reduce jail and prison populations using arbitrary means, as having led to record levels of crime, violence, and homicide in the city.
“For far too long the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has been driven by a win-at-any-cost culture that prioritizes high conviction rates and harsh sentencing over more effective approaches that are proven to reduce crime,” Krasner’s website states. “As District Attorney, Larry Krasner will fundamentally change that culture, from a culture of seeking victory for prosecutors to a culture of seeking justice for victims.”
In a statement, Krasner lashed out at Republicans and other critics.
“In the hundreds of years the Commonwealth has existed, this is the only time the House has used the drastic remedy of impeachment of an elected official because they do not like their ideas,” he said, per CBS News.
“Those ideas are precisely why Philadelphia voters elected and re-elected me to serve as the Philly DA – in two landslides. These ideas include doing more and doing better for victims and survivors, solving crime through modern scientific enforcement, and investing deeply in the prevention of violence,” he added. “And they are why elected officials who do not live or vote in Philadelphia are trying so hard to erase the votes of Philadelphians: because they preferred the status quo.”
“Plus, overall violent crime is surging, and robberies have more than doubled compared to this time in 2021, according to city data,” the report continued. “The city has reported 388 homicides so far this year, up slightly from 384 the same time last year, when Philly set a record with 562 homicides.
“Overall shootings have increased by 3%, according to city stats,” the report added. “Overall violent crime is up 7% from the same time last year. Robberies in which perpetrators used guns are up 60%, while rapes decreased by more than 25%. Property crimes are up more than 30%, with businesses getting hit hard as commercial burglaries have risen a staggering 50%.”
Republicans cite those stats as well as Krasner’s intransigence as justification for impeaching him, as a matter of public safety.
“This man has denied that there is even a crisis of crime happening on our streets,” State Rep. Martina White, R-Philadelphia, a principal sponsor of the impeachment resolution and an ally of the city’s police union, which has clashed with Krasner and which voted to back GOP Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, the first time the organization has backed a Republican in decades.
“No public official is above accountability, and if not for us in this chamber, he would have no oversight,” White added, according to CBS News.
Rep. Tim Bonner, R-Mercer, noted as well that “anarchy and violence will prevail” if elected officials simply pick and choose which laws they want to enforce.
“No one individual has the right to set aside the laws of Congress or the General Assembly because they simply do not like the law. No one has that degree of absolute power,” Bonner said, according to CBS News.