|PHILADELPHIA (October 18, 2022) – District Attorney Larry Krasner on Tuesday formally accepted an invitation to appear before the PA House GOP-led Select Committee seeking to impeach him this Friday, October 21st, in a public and transparent hearing.
On Saturday night, the Select Committee contacted DA Krasner’s impeachment counsel asking that he testify on October 21st in private and with no public access to the testimony via video or transcript. The Pennsylvania House is scheduled to return to legislative session next week before going on break before the November 8 election.In a letter transmitted today on the DA’s behalf to Select Committee Chair Rep. John Lawrence (R-Chester/ Lancaster), legal counsel representing the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) wrote, “District Attorney Krasner accepts the Chairman’s invitation – provided he may do so at a hearing that is public and transparent.”
The Select Committee has held two days of hearings to date, in a secured facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard but which not all members of the public were permitted to attend. Media reports noted that criticisms among testifiers who were handpicked by the Select Committee were directed less at DA Krasner than at police and city government. Legal experts handpicked to testify under oath also did not provide opinion or evidence that supported the Select Committee’s stated goals of impeaching the DA.
Noting that the two days of public hearings held by the Select Committee “were live streamed and attended by the media and (limited) members of the public,” legal counsel for DA Krasner told Chair Lawrence:
“The proposed hearing involving District Attorney Krasner should be no different. District Attorney Krasner should be afforded the same opportunity to give a statement and answer questions at a public hearing. The Chairman’s invitation for a hearing in Executive Session, which is a ‘meeting from which the public is excluded’ (65 Pa.C.S.A. § 703), is improper and unfair to the public, the DAO, and District Attorney Krasner, especially since his testimony involves matters of public concern.”
District Attorney Krasner added in a statement: “I am stating today as I have stated in the past that I am happy to answer questions from the Committee in a public hearing. Chair Lawrence’s invitation for me to appear before the committee, but in secret behind closed doors and out of view of the public, just days before the House returns to session next week, possibly to vote for my impeachment at the whim of the House Republican Speaker, is curious. Philadelphians and all Pennsylvanians who love democracy and cherish their right to vote deserve a transparent and public hearing, before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives takes any action aimed at erasing Philly’s votes.”
The DA’s letter to Chair Lawrence can be found here. The DAO’s lawsuit and other non-privileged responses to the Select Committee are available online: https://linktr.ee/phillydalarrykrasner.
CONTACT:Jane Roh, 215-686-8711, [email protected]
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually. Learn more about the DAO by visiting PhillyDA.org.