Embattled Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner will not comply with a subpoena issued by a Pennsylvania House of Representatives committee investigating him.
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Krasner called the investigation “illegal,” anti-democratic,” and politically motivated.
“This is a fraud,” he said, adding: “They don’t get to choose [Philadelphia’s] leadership.”
The five-person committee, appointed by Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler, include John Lawrence (R-Chester/Lancaster), Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks), Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland), Amen Brown (D-Philadelphia), and Danilo Burgos (D-Philadelphia).
The latter pair initially voted against the committee’s formation.
Krasner’s attorneys said the office “will not search for or produce any documents” in response to the subpoena, noting the committee “serves no valid legislative purpose.”
“Whether the House Republicans driving the impeachment effort like it or not, the citizens of Philadelphia have spoken at the polls; it is not up to House Republicans to try to effectively overturn that election,” lawyers told Lawrence, the chair of the select committee, on Monday.
“This is not the first time an elected official has attempted to evade accountability by snubbing legitimate legislative oversight,” said Lawrence. “Information gathering is an important step in accomplishing the committee’s obligations to the people of Pennsylvania. As chairman, I will pursue compliance with duly authorized subpoenas as necessary. Baseless efforts to needlessly delay, discredit or disparage this work will not deter the committee from fulfilling its duties.”
“It is profoundly troubling that the District Attorney of Philadelphia is objecting to a bipartisan legislative effort to consider how public safety in the city can be improved to ensure residents and visitors are safe,” said Jason Gottesman, House Republican Caucus spokesperson. “Rather than work with the committee and take the opportunity to share his views on how his policies are impacting public safety in the city, the DA has instead chosen to litigate the matter in the press.
“Regardless of the District Attorney’s stance, the Select Committee will move forward as directed under House Resolution 216, which was approved by a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives.”
The Select Committee is authorized and empowered to investigate, review and make findings and recommendations concerning rising rates of crime, law enforcement and the enforcement of crime victim rights.
Any effort to remove the two-term DA would require a majority vote in the PA House and a two-thirds vote of the Senate. As the GOP does not have a two-thirds majority in that chamber, any trial would have to sway Democrats.