By The Vanguard Staff
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner Thursday said the GOP-led effort to remove him from office is “openly abusing the impeachment process,” and asked the lawmakers for a chance to testify.
The Pennsylvania House Republican-led committee that is attempting to overturn the will of Philly voters and remove him from office doesn’t surprise the progressive prosecutor.
“I’m not surprised that a GOP-run committee that is openly abusing the impeachment process to invalidate Philly elections and erase Philly votes did not actually open today’s taxpayer-funded hearing to all of the taxpaying public. People they did not like were turned away from the door with no explanation given, despite the committee’s visible failure to fill the 50 seats they made available in a 150-person-capacity space at the Naval Yard,” said Krasner in a prepared statement.
He added, “Nonetheless, many more Philadelphians than attended this hearing showed up outside and exercised their constitutionally protected right to express their feelings about non-Philly legislators overturning their vote.”
Krasner noted, “I again request that the Select Committee allow me, the target of their inquiry, the opportunity to speak and answer their questions in a fully public and accessible forum.”
“The trauma and grief expressed by co-victims and survivors at today’s hearing, many of whom my staff and I have personally met, was heartbreaking. The dedicated staff of Victim/Witness Services and CARES Peer Crisis Responders in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office work tirelessly to provide services and supports for co-victims and survivors – including in instances where a homicide has occurred but police have not made an arrest,” Krasner said.
“I do appreciate that the committee invited its own legal scholar, Professor Bruce Antkowiak, to provide testimony on Pennsylvania grand jury law and procedures. Professor Antkowiak validated our position on the illegality of the Select Committee’s subpoena of grand jury notes of testimony in a pending homicide trial of a former Philadelphia police officer.
“This expert testimony undermines the suggestion that our office has done anything outside of the law or unethical in our prosecution of this matter or in our policies and use of discretion,” said Krasner.
Quoting the testimony, Krasner noted, “Professor Antkowiak concludes in his public report to the Select Committee: ‘The checks and balances system the framers of our government chose was believed to be effective to limit arbitrary abuse by any individual branch. In such a scheme, the primary check on the discretionary authority of a District Attorney lies with the same authority upon which the system relies to be the ultimate corrective authority for abuses in the other branches. That ultimate authority is the people who, with respect to local prosecutors, exercise that authority most directly and effectively by the electoral process every four years when a District Attorney stands before the public to account for his or her discretionary judgments.’”