Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner must be impeached because the policies coming out of his office have led to "widespread crime and lawlessness" in the city, particularly last week's mass shootings on the city's South Street, state Rep. Tim O'Neal, one of the GOP lawmakers behind the push to remove Krasner from office, said on Newsmax Tuesday.
"The crime problem in Philadelphia is Larry Krasner," the Pennsylvania Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "We are announcing that, in the short term, here within the next week or two, we will be introducing articles of impeachment and proceeding with the initial steps of removing him from office."
O'Neal, along with Western Pennsylvania GOP Reps. Josh Kail and Torren Ecker, announced Monday that they have been drafting articles of impeachment against Krasner since last week when three people were killed and 11 injured in a mass shooting on Philadelphia's South Street.
The three have not yet introduced their legislation and the process could take months, reports Philadelphia NBC affiliate WCAU. Their bill for impeachment would first go to a House committee for approval, and then on for a full House vote. If it passes there, the state Senate would then conduct a trial, where a two-thirds vote would be required to remove Krasner.
The state Senate has 28 Republicans, 21 Democrats, and one independent, who caucuses with the Republicans, and 34 of the 50 senators would have to agree on removing the Philadelphia DA.
Krasner easily won his re-election bid last November. He commented that the attempt to impeach him is similar to Republican efforts to overthrow other elections. He also blamed the state's gun violence on the Republicans' hold on the state legislature because they refuse to pass significant gun control laws.
"Pennsylvania House Republicans want to distract you from their decades of failed governance that have led to greater economic inequality and the current crisis of gun violence as they have encouraged the flooding of our communities with deadly firearms," Krasner said in a statement Monday. "Democracy- and freedom-loving Pennsylvanians will not be fooled by these anti-democratic efforts to devalue Philadelphia's diverse votes."
But O'Neal told Newsmax that there is a great deal of support in the Pennsylvania House, where "we have dozens of co-sponsors for the articles already within 24 hours."
"We also launched a website, https://www.pahousegop.com/stopkrasner for the general public to submit their interactions with the district attorney's office, and we've gotten an overwhelming response from the public in their support of removing Larry Krasner from office as well," he said.
O'Neal added that if Krasner is removed, "we need a district attorney that is willing to enforce the laws."
"That's the crux of the problem," he said. "Larry Krasner has publicly stated that he is going to not enforce specifically gun laws, but laws throughout Philadelphia. The first step is to get a district attorney that will enforce the laws and we can begin to clean up the streets of Philadelphia."
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is scheduled to address organized labor in Philadelphia on Tuesday, but he's not expected to address crime, and O'Neal said that does not surprise him.
"President Biden often isn't on top of the issues that are most important for specific areas of our country," he said. "In coming to Philadelphia and not addressing crime isn't surprising in that regard, either. People are hurting economically [and] are considering relocating out of Philadelphia because of the crime problem, and tourists are afraid to go there. We've had law enforcement officers tell us that if you can avoid Philadelphia, you should because of the crime sprees."
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