Krasner’s DAO

Pa. House impeaches Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner in 107-85 vote: Here’s how everyone voted

A slew of new charges were added to the initial articles of impeachment at the last minute.

Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg

Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg

Jason Pope / Flickr Creative Commons
jordanlevy-headshot

The Pa. House on Wednesday voted to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, in an 107-85 vote that fell largely along party lines.

Three Democrats from Philadelphia — Reps. Ed Neilson, Kevin Boyle and Amen Brown — were on leave during the vote, so did not get to weigh in. A list showing exactly who voted for or against impeachment is below.

Pennsylvania’s state Senate now has the option to arrange Krasner’s impeachment trial, though it would have to extend the lame duck session. The chamber’s last scheduled day of business was Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Removing the district attorney from office would take a two-thirds vote, which could happen if five Democrats vote with a united Republican block.

If the Senate holds off, articles of impeachment will have to be passed through the House again, a prospect that is less certain if the chamber flips into Democratic control — which House Democrats believe is likely.

No Democrats crossed the aisle to support a move largely forwarded by Republicans, and Rep. Mike Puskaric of Allegheny County was the only GOP member to vote against the measure.

The resolution that passed was amended to add five new articles of impeachment on top of the two initial articles introduced by Philly Rep. Martina White.

Including the additions, the approved impeachment articles were as follows:

Article 1 (original)

Arguing that Krasner’s early termination of more than 30 assistant district attorneys, his employment of younger, less experienced attorneys, and his criminal justice reform agenda constitute “misbehavior in office” since they “have substantially contributed to the increase in crime in the City of Philadelphia … and betrayed the trust of the citizens of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth.”

Article 2 (original)

Pointing to Krasner’s refusal to answer a subpoena from the select committee, which Krasner’s attorneys say was due to the illegality of the request.

Article 3 (new)

Highlighting a mistruth by Krasner in trying to overturn the death sentence of the defendant in the 1984 case Robert Wharton v. Donald T. Vaughn, where his office claimed it had contacted a victim but apparently had not.

Article 4 (new)

Alleging misconduct by Krasner in the 2017 case Commonwealth vs. Pownall — a former PPD officer who shot and killed civilian David Jones while on duty. All charges against Pownall were dismissed in October after a judge criticized Krasner’s handling of a grand jury pretrial hearing.

Article 5 (new)

Suggesting a fallacy in Krasner’s testimony before the Pa. Supreme Court in a hearing about whether it was appropriate for him to represent the prosecution in the ongoing Mumia Abu-Jamal case. Maureen Faulkner, widow of deceased PPD Officer Daniel Faulkner, aimed to get Krasner off the case because of a “conflict of interest.”

Krasner testified he never represented an “organization” that worked in the decades-long defense campaign of Abu-Jamal. The article says he neglected to mention representing “at least one pro-Mumia activist,” and described that as “a partial and misleading disclosure” that violates state law. Krasner was never censured for this testimony and the Supreme Court approved his involvement in the case. This is the first time such charges have been made, just minutes before the House voted.

Article 6 (new)

Claiming that Krasner “repeatedly violated” the Crime Victims Act by “failing to timely contact victims, deliberately misleading victims and or disregarding victim input and treating victims with contempt and disrespect.”

Article 7 (new)

Arguing that Krasner’s charging policies on issues including “prostitution, theft and drug-related offenses” violates the legislature’s authority because these things are illegal under state law. It alleges that “the de facto legalization of prostitution by District Attorney Krasner has had a devastating impact on women who are victims of sex trafficking and the communities where they are trafficked.”

Before the vote, Rep. Torren Ecker, a Republican who served on the committee that convened to investigate (but never recommended) Krasner’s impeachment, spoke about the meaning of “any misbehavior in office,” part of state constitution rules for impeachment.

Drawing from precedent set in the 1994 impeachment of Pa. Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen, Ecker stressed that the phrase “can include both criminal and non-criminal conduct.”

Democratic Rep. Joe Hoehnstein argued that the new articles of impeachment were not representative of “improper and corrupt” behavior as outlined in that 1994 case.

Representatives on both sides of the aisle hotly debated the impeachment for more than an hour before finally voting.

Here’s the final tally:

Want some more? Explore other Krasner’s DAO stories.

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