Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner responded to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order’s request for a written statement on Friday, stating he is “utterly disappointed” in its approach to impeach him and said it’s only being done to score “political points.”
Krasner said in his letter to the Select Committee that it has “repeatedly refused” to speak with him, whether at public or private hearing, and said that the committee instead asked him to write a written statement.
“Instead of meeting with me in person, publicly or privately, you asked me to submit a written statement as long as it was submitted within a very short deadline, due today at 5:00 p.m. You did not specify the questions I should answer or the topics I should address. You said only that it should be “relevant to the Select Committee’s work,” Krasner said in the response.
He added that there’s “no mystery” why the Friday deadline is important to the committee.
“Today is the last business day before the House convenes on Monday (for its last sessions prior to the midterm election), and you’d like to give the appearance of hearing from me before you recommend my impeachment as District Attorney of Philadelphia,” Krasner added.
The Philadelphia District Attorney accused the Select Committee of never specifying what the “basis of impeachment is,” alleging that “there has been no suggestion of criminal conduct or corruption of any kind.”
“Every decision I make as District Attorney is with the goal of seeking justice and improving public safety. That is my oath. Public safety has always been my primary goal, and I have never deviated from more intensely focusing on the most serious and violent offenses,” Krasner wrote in the letter, adding that “progress” is being made.
“Years later, we are starting to see progress in that direction thanks in part to grant opportunities now available and additional governmental investment from the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth. Despite the delay, I am excited to see that progress,” Krasner said.
He concluded the letter to the Select Committee by writing that he wants to have a conversation about “the prosecution of crime and public safety,” but not when “you are not seeking political points right before an election.”
Pennsylvania Republican Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler said in response to Krasner’s letter that “[Krasner] is once again ignoring the plague of violence in his city.”
“I am disappointed, but not surprised, by Mr. Krasner’s response to the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order. At best, his statements are the result of being misinformed, at worst he is intentionally attempting to skew the intentions of the committee in an ongoing effort to distract the public from the shortcomings of his office. Worst of all, and most obvious, is his clear lack of understanding of legal processes and the authority of the House of Representatives,” Cutler said.
Responding to Krasner’s claim that the purpose of the Select Committee is to impeach him, Cutler said that the committee’s goal is to improve public safety.
“Further, Mr. Krasner says the stated goal of the committee is impeaching the district attorney. He is once again ignoring the plague of violence in his city. The committee’s stated goal is to restore law and order, find possible solutions that save lives, and end a culture of violence that is impacting the daily lives of millions of residents and visitors to one of our nation’s most celebrated cities,” Cutler said.
Krasner’s letter to lawmakers comes after he held a press conference on Friday morning alleging that Republicans’ election push on crime is “racist messaging,” alleging that the party playbook is to “point a finger at large, diverse cities and say large diverse cities are lawless.”
“What we see here is the same old playbook, which is about coded and racist messaging,” Krasner said. “It’s about blaming the biggest city in Pennsylvania with the most diverse population for having the same national struggle that we have with gun violence everywhere and even having increases that are less the committee’s counties.”