(NewsNation) — Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner was impeached by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 107 to 85. The GOP-controlled House rushed the vote before Democrats took control of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in January.
After the vote, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff said, “By impeaching Larry Krasner, we register ourselves to stand with the people of Philadelphia who have been living in fear for their lives and safety and that of their families.”
Krasner faces the possibility of removal 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 her.
“Mr. Krasner has shown that he failed in his duties as Philadelphia District Attorney, inappropriately using prosecutorial discretion, consistently dropping charges against repeat offenders, refusing to prosecute certain crimes outright, while simultaneously dropping and dismissing charges under the Uniform Firearms Act at an abnormally high rate,” Blanco said.
In response, Krasner filed a lawsuit, arguing that the articles of impeachment were rendered null and void on the last day of the legislative session. Krasner has asked the state court to halt the impeachment proceedings, adding that there is no evidence of “misconduct in office that is required for impeachment.”
Krasner won re-election last year, receiving more than 69 percent of the vote over his Republican challenger Chuck Peruto.
Peruto, Krasner’s opponent in the 2021 election, says impeaching Krasner on this basis would set a dangerous precedent.
“We have to look to the future to see if a Republican were in office, how would we want the Democrats to do this,” Peruto asked during an interview with NewsNation’s Dan Abrams. “This is not an imputable crime. None of (the charges) are.”
Peruto said the people of Philadelphia made their voices clear during last year’s election about who they want to be their district attorney.
“The people have spoken. They said we don’t want Chuck, we want Larry. So that’s where he has to stay. That is where he has to stay,” Peruto said. “His discretion from him as the victor goes to the loot. He has been chosen to exercise his discretion. The people of Philadelphia have had four years to see and observe the discretion of him, and they approved of him.”
Peruto insisted that if people in Philadelphia don’t like the way Krasner is working, they should “get him out of office the right way: in the voting booth, not with impeachment.”
Peruto believes there is “no chance” that Krasner will be convicted in the Pennsylvania Senate. He sums up the impeachment charges as a “big publicity stunt.”