(NewsNation) — Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has been impeached by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 107 to 85. The GOP-controlled House rushed the vote before Democrats take control of the Pennsylvania State House in January.
Following the vote, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff said, “By impeaching Larry Krasner, we put ourselves on the record that we stand with the people of Philadelphia who have been living in fear for their lives and the safety of themselves and their families.”
Krasner faces the possibility of being removed from office, as the Pennsylvania Senate prepares to put the top prosecutor on trial in January. Pennsylvania Rep. Martina White has been leading the charge against him.
“Mr. Krasner has proven himself derelict in his duties as the district attorney of Philadelphia, inappropriately using prosecutorial discretion, consistently dropping charges against repeat offenders, refusing to prosecute certain crimes outright, while also withdrawing and dismissing charges under the Uniform Firearms Act at an abnormally high rate,” White said.
In response, Krasner filed a lawsuit, which argues that the articles of impeachment became null and void on the last day of the legislative session. Krasner has asked the state court to halt impeachment proceedings, adding that there is no evidence of “misbehavior in office that is required for impeachment.”
Krasner won reelection last year, receiving more than 69 percent of the vote over his Republican challenger Chuck Peruto.
Peruto, Krasner’s opponent in the election in 2021, says impeaching Krasner on this basis would set a dangerous precedent.
“We have to look to the future to see if a Republican was in office, how would we like it if the Democrats did this,” Peruto asked during an interview with NewsNation’s Dan Abrams. “This is not an impeachable offense. None of (the charges) are.”
Peruto said the people of Philadelphia made their voices clear during last year’s election about who they want serving as their district attorney.
“The people have spoken. They said we don’t want Chuck, we want Larry. So that’s where it’s got to stay. That’s where it’s got to stay,” Peruto said. “His discretion as the victor goes to spoils. He has been elected to exercise his discretion. The people of Philadelphia have had four years to view and watch his discretion, and they approved it.”
Peruto insisted that if people in Philadelphia do not like the way Krasner is working, they should “get him out of office the right way — at the voting booth, not with impeachment.”
Peruto believes there’s “no chance” Krasner will be convicted in the Pennsylvania Senate. He sums the impeachment charges up to being a “great publicity stunt.”