The Senate of Pa. Sets Timetable for Krasner’s Impeachment Trial | news

HARRISBURG — Articles impeaching Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner will be submitted to the Pennsylvania Senate next week, with a trial in the upper legislative chamber scheduled for January, according to the Senate Republican faction.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman will recall state senators to the state capitol for two unscheduled days of sitting Tuesday and Wednesday. Assuming the Republican majority will carry the votes to move forward, Krasner will have until December 21 to formally comment on the charges.

A trial is expected to begin at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 18 in the Senate, which falls into the next legislative session.

“The Senate’s constitutional obligations are clear, so we stand ready to do our duty and proceed with the impeachment trial of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner next week,” Corman said in a release.

Members of the House of Representatives last week voted 107-85 to impeach Krasner, claiming his approach to reducing violence and prosecuting crime in Philadelphia — an approach they say is failing the city — is working amounts to “misconduct in public office,” a criminal offense punishable under the state’s constitution. He is not charged with any crime.

A two-thirds majority of the 50-member Senate is required for impeachment. Republicans have a 28-22 majority in the next session. At least six Democrats would have to vote for an impeachment trial against Krasner for the prosecutor to be impeached.

Senate Republican Speaker Erica Clayton Wright said senators will consider two resolutions on Tuesday. The rules of impeachment will be established. The other will invite the team of House impeachment managers to introduce the articles of impeachment against Krasner.

Sen. Joe Pittman, the newly elected Senate Majority Leader, will introduce the resolution, which the Republican Caucus press release said is supported by Sen. Lisa Baker.

The articles were presented on Wednesday. Then the senators would take an oath to uphold the state’s constitution and consider a third order to authorize a subpoena formally notifying Krasner of the charges, Clayton Wright said.

The House of Representatives is the only body with the power to impeach Krasner and elected officials in similar roles. The Senate must act as judge and jury.

“It is a mandatory requirement/obligation of the Senate to begin impeachment under the Constitution,” Clayton Wright said.

Three state representatives were appointed last week by Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler to the three-member committee set to lead the process: Rep. Tim Bonner, a Republican representing portions of Mercer and Butler counties, and fellow party Rep. Craig Williams, Delaware/ Chester and Democratic Rep. Jared Solomon of Philadelphia.

Bonner and Williams voted for impeachment. Solomon voted against.

There are few cases of impeachment in Pennsylvania. Rolf Larsen, a former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice, was indicted in 1994. He had been convicted by a criminal court on two drug conspiracy charges. He was also accused of supplying friends and political donors from the bank.

Krasner held a news conference in Philadelphia this week, again denying the allegations against him and accusing Republicans of disenfranchising voters and pushing his potential impeachment for political reasons.

Krasner’s two electoral victories as a prosecutor earned him a nearly 40-point margin in 2021 and a nearly 50-point margin in 2017.

“In the hundreds of years that the Commonwealth has existed, this is the only time that the House of Representatives has taken the drastic measure of impeaching an elected official because he doesn’t like his ideas,” Krasner said after the impeachment vote November 16th.

“These ideas are exactly why Philadelphia voters elected and re-elected me to serve as Philly’s attorney general — in two landslides,” he said.