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The impeachment trial involving Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has taken another turn.

Impeachment managers Craig Williams (R-Delaware/Chester) and Tim Bonner (R-Mercer/Butler) announced they are filing an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to the Commonwealth Court’s decision on December 30.

“We will pursue the impeachment trial for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner for misbehavior in public office, as outlined in the Articles of Impeachment passed by the Pennsylvania House in November 2022,” Williams said in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday morning.  “There are specific instances of misuse of power which constitutes misbehavior in office, which were not addressed by the Commonwealth Court. Further, the evenly divided court opinion left unanswered whether certain articles of impeachment were upheld within the constitutional purview of the Pennsylvania Senate.”

Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler said in an order that “none of the Amended Articles of Impeachment satisfy the requirement imposed by Article VI, Section 6 of the Pennsylvania Constitution that impeachment charges against a public official must allege conduct that constitutes what would amount to the common law crime of “misbehavior in office,” i.e., failure to perform a positive ministerial duty or performance of a discretionary duty with an improper or corrupt motive.”

The judge did deny two arguments from the embattled Philly DA, stating that “the General Assembly’s power to impeach and try a public official is judicial in nature and, thus, is not affected by the adjournment of the General Assembly or the two-year span of each General Assembly iteration’s legislative authority,” as well as “all public officials throughout the Commonwealth are subject to impeachment and trial by the General Assembly, regardless of whether they are local or state officials.”

“Our position is that the House of Representatives and the State Senate have the sole authority according to the Constitution to determine what constitutes misbehavior in office,” Bonner said. “We also believe the court ruled without hearing all of the evidence that proves Krasner’s conduct was performed with improper or corrupt intent, which the Senate is constitutionally required to consider as part of the impeachment proceedings.”

In addition, three articles of impeachment set out specific cases in which Krasner performed discretionary duties with improper or corrupt motives, which defines the impeachable offense of misbehavior in office, to abuse his official power to the detriment of the legal rights of others.

The Commonwealth Court did not address that improper conduct, but instead concluded those articles of impeachment may not be constitutionally considered because the articles allege violations of Pennsylvania Supreme Court ethics rules. Williams and Bonner maintain they may prove the underlying misconduct itself constitutes misbehavior in office without relying on ethics rules as a basis.

They point directly to Krasner’s handling of a 2017 case involving Philadelphia Police Officer Ryan Pownall as a prime example of his misbehavior in office with an “improper or corrupt motive.”

Pownall, who is white, was accused of shooting David Jones, a 30-year-old Black man who was carrying a gun when the officer stopped him for illegally riding a dirt bike on a city street. As the two scuffled over the weapon, Jones fled, and Pownall shot him in the back, police said.

A Philadelphia judge dismissed all charges against Pownall, ruling that prosecutors had failed years ago to provide proper legal instructions to a grand jury as it weighed whether to charge him with murder.

Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara A. McDermott chastised prosecutors at the time for what she viewed as a series of errors, saying that if a defense attorney had behaved in a similar fashion before her, “I would declare them incompetent.”

“By his own public admission, Krasner and his office used the investigatory grand jury process rather than the judicial process to subvert the justification defense in Section 508,” said a statement from Williams and Bonner.

“This misconduct, and the deliberate misrepresentations and illegalities it entailed, constituted a gross abuse of power by Krasner. Because of these actions, the House impeachment managers, on behalf of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, are filing an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to continue the impeachment trial.

“We are taking this appeal because we are firmly convinced the separation of powers dictates the Pennsylvania Senate determine what facts constitute misbehavior in office, which is the failure to perform a positive ministerial duty or performance of a discretionary duty with an improper or corrupt motive,” Bonner said. “We are also confident the facts set out in the Articles of Impeachment support a guilty finding for misbehavior in office and any concern about invoking the rules of ethics in the articles is a preference for form over the substance of the misconduct.”

The impeachment trial involving Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has taken another turn.

Impeachment managers Craig Williams (R-Delaware/Chester) and Tim Bonner (R-Mercer/Butler) announced they are filing an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to the Commonwealth Court’s decision on December 30.

“We will pursue the impeachment trial for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner for misbehavior in public office, as outlined in the Articles of Impeachment passed by the Pennsylvania House in November 2022,” Williams said in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday morning.  “There are specific instances of misuse of power which constitutes misbehavior in office, which were not addressed by the Commonwealth Court. Further, the evenly divided court opinion left unanswered whether certain articles of impeachment were upheld within the constitutional purview of the Pennsylvania Senate.”

Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler said in an order that “none of the Amended Articles of Impeachment satisfy the requirement imposed by Article VI, Section 6 of the Pennsylvania Constitution that impeachment charges against a public official must allege conduct that constitutes what would amount to the common law crime of “misbehavior in office,” i.e., failure to perform a positive ministerial duty or performance of a discretionary duty with an improper or corrupt motive.”

The judge did deny two arguments from the embattled Philly DA, stating that “the General Assembly’s power to impeach and try a public official is judicial in nature and, thus, is not affected by the adjournment of the General Assembly or the two-year span of each General Assembly iteration’s legislative authority,” as well as “all public officials throughout the Commonwealth are subject to impeachment and trial by the General Assembly, regardless of whether they are local or state officials.”

“Our position is that the House of Representatives and the State Senate have the sole authority according to the Constitution to determine what constitutes misbehavior in office,” Bonner said. “We also believe the court ruled without hearing all of the evidence that proves Krasner’s conduct was performed with improper or corrupt intent, which the Senate is constitutionally required to consider as part of the impeachment proceedings.”

In addition, three articles of impeachment set out specific cases in which Krasner performed discretionary duties with improper or corrupt motives, which defines the impeachable offense of misbehavior in office, to abuse his official power to the detriment of the legal rights of others.

The Commonwealth Court did not address that improper conduct, but instead concluded those articles of impeachment may not be constitutionally considered because the articles allege violations of Pennsylvania Supreme Court ethics rules. Williams and Bonner maintain they may prove the underlying misconduct itself constitutes misbehavior in office without relying on ethics rules as a basis.

They point directly to Krasner’s handling of a 2017 case involving Philadelphia Police Officer Ryan Pownall as a prime example of his misbehavior in office with an “improper or corrupt motive.”

Pownall, who is white, was accused of shooting David Jones, a 30-year-old Black man who was carrying a gun when the officer stopped him for illegally riding a dirt bike on a city street. As the two scuffled over the weapon, Jones fled, and Pownall shot him in the back, police said.

A Philadelphia judge dismissed all charges against Pownall, ruling that prosecutors had failed years ago to provide proper legal instructions to a grand jury as it weighed whether to charge him with murder.

Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara A. McDermott chastised prosecutors at the time for what she viewed as a series of errors, saying that if a defense attorney had behaved in a similar fashion before her, “I would declare them incompetent.”

“By his own public admission, Krasner and his office used the investigatory grand jury process rather than the judicial process to subvert the justification defense in Section 508,” said a statement from Williams and Bonner.

“This misconduct, and the deliberate misrepresentations and illegalities it entailed, constituted a gross abuse of power by Krasner. Because of these actions, the House impeachment managers, on behalf of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, are filing an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to continue the impeachment trial.

“We are taking this appeal because we are firmly convinced the separation of powers dictates the Pennsylvania Senate determine what facts constitute misbehavior in office, which is the failure to perform a positive ministerial duty or performance of a discretionary duty with an improper or corrupt motive,” Bonner said. “We are also confident the facts set out in the Articles of Impeachment support a guilty finding for misbehavior in office and any concern about invoking the rules of ethics in the articles is a preference for form over the substance of the misconduct.”

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The impeachment trial involving Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has taken another turn.

Impeachment managers Craig Williams (R-Delaware/Chester) and Tim Bonner (R-Mercer/Butler) announced they are filing an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to the Commonwealth Court’s decision on December 30.

“We will pursue the impeachment trial for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner for misbehavior in public office, as outlined in the Articles of Impeachment passed by the Pennsylvania House in November 2022,” Williams said in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday morning.  “There are specific instances of misuse of power which constitutes misbehavior in office, which were not addressed by the Commonwealth Court. Further, the evenly divided court opinion left unanswered whether certain articles of impeachment were upheld within the constitutional purview of the Pennsylvania Senate.”

Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler said in an order that “none of the Amended Articles of Impeachment satisfy the requirement imposed by Article VI, Section 6 of the Pennsylvania Constitution that impeachment charges against a public official must allege conduct that constitutes what would amount to the common law crime of “misbehavior in office,” i.e., failure to perform a positive ministerial duty or performance of a discretionary duty with an improper or corrupt motive.”

The judge did deny two arguments from the embattled Philly DA, stating that “the General Assembly’s power to impeach and try a public official is judicial in nature and, thus, is not affected by the adjournment of the General Assembly or the two-year span of each General Assembly iteration’s legislative authority,” as well as “all public officials throughout the Commonwealth are subject to impeachment and trial by the General Assembly, regardless of whether they are local or state officials.”

“Our position is that the House of Representatives and the State Senate have the sole authority according to the Constitution to determine what constitutes misbehavior in office,” Bonner said. “We also believe the court ruled without hearing all of the evidence that proves Krasner’s conduct was performed with improper or corrupt intent, which the Senate is constitutionally required to consider as part of the impeachment proceedings.”

In addition, three articles of impeachment set out specific cases in which Krasner performed discretionary duties with improper or corrupt motives, which defines the impeachable offense of misbehavior in office, to abuse his official power to the detriment of the legal rights of others.

The Commonwealth Court did not address that improper conduct, but instead concluded those articles of impeachment may not be constitutionally considered because the articles allege violations of Pennsylvania Supreme Court ethics rules. Williams and Bonner maintain they may prove the underlying misconduct itself constitutes misbehavior in office without relying on ethics rules as a basis.

They point directly to Krasner’s handling of a 2017 case involving Philadelphia Police Officer Ryan Pownall as a prime example of his misbehavior in office with an “improper or corrupt motive.”

Pownall, who is white, was accused of shooting David Jones, a 30-year-old Black man who was carrying a gun when the officer stopped him for illegally riding a dirt bike on a city street. As the two scuffled over the weapon, Jones fled, and Pownall shot him in the back, police said.

A Philadelphia judge dismissed all charges against Pownall, ruling that prosecutors had failed years ago to provide proper legal instructions to a grand jury as it weighed whether to charge him with murder.

Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara A. McDermott chastised prosecutors at the time for what she viewed as a series of errors, saying that if a defense attorney had behaved in a similar fashion before her, “I would declare them incompetent.”

“By his own public admission, Krasner and his office used the investigatory grand jury process rather than the judicial process to subvert the justification defense in Section 508,” said a statement from Williams and Bonner.

“This misconduct, and the deliberate misrepresentations and illegalities it entailed, constituted a gross abuse of power by Krasner. Because of these actions, the House impeachment managers, on behalf of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, are filing an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to continue the impeachment trial.

“We are taking this appeal because we are firmly convinced the separation of powers dictates the Pennsylvania Senate determine what facts constitute misbehavior in office, which is the failure to perform a positive ministerial duty or performance of a discretionary duty with an improper or corrupt motive,” Bonner said. “We are also confident the facts set out in the Articles of Impeachment support a guilty finding for misbehavior in office and any concern about invoking the rules of ethics in the articles is a preference for form over the substance of the misconduct.”

The impeachment trial involving Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has taken another turn.

Impeachment managers Craig Williams (R-Delaware/Chester) and Tim Bonner (R-Mercer/Butler) announced they are filing an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to the Commonwealth Court’s decision on December 30.

“We will pursue the impeachment trial for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner for misbehavior in public office, as outlined in the Articles of Impeachment passed by the Pennsylvania House in November 2022,” Williams said in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday morning.  “There are specific instances of misuse of power which constitutes misbehavior in office, which were not addressed by the Commonwealth Court. Further, the evenly divided court opinion left unanswered whether certain articles of impeachment were upheld within the constitutional purview of the Pennsylvania Senate.”

Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler said in an order that “none of the Amended Articles of Impeachment satisfy the requirement imposed by Article VI, Section 6 of the Pennsylvania Constitution that impeachment charges against a public official must allege conduct that constitutes what would amount to the common law crime of “misbehavior in office,” i.e., failure to perform a positive ministerial duty or performance of a discretionary duty with an improper or corrupt motive.”

The judge did deny two arguments from the embattled Philly DA, stating that “the General Assembly’s power to impeach and try a public official is judicial in nature and, thus, is not affected by the adjournment of the General Assembly or the two-year span of each General Assembly iteration’s legislative authority,” as well as “all public officials throughout the Commonwealth are subject to impeachment and trial by the General Assembly, regardless of whether they are local or state officials.”

“Our position is that the House of Representatives and the State Senate have the sole authority according to the Constitution to determine what constitutes misbehavior in office,” Bonner said. “We also believe the court ruled without hearing all of the evidence that proves Krasner’s conduct was performed with improper or corrupt intent, which the Senate is constitutionally required to consider as part of the impeachment proceedings.”

In addition, three articles of impeachment set out specific cases in which Krasner performed discretionary duties with improper or corrupt motives, which defines the impeachable offense of misbehavior in office, to abuse his official power to the detriment of the legal rights of others.

The Commonwealth Court did not address that improper conduct, but instead concluded those articles of impeachment may not be constitutionally considered because the articles allege violations of Pennsylvania Supreme Court ethics rules. Williams and Bonner maintain they may prove the underlying misconduct itself constitutes misbehavior in office without relying on ethics rules as a basis.

They point directly to Krasner’s handling of a 2017 case involving Philadelphia Police Officer Ryan Pownall as a prime example of his misbehavior in office with an “improper or corrupt motive.”

Pownall, who is white, was accused of shooting David Jones, a 30-year-old Black man who was carrying a gun when the officer stopped him for illegally riding a dirt bike on a city street. As the two scuffled over the weapon, Jones fled, and Pownall shot him in the back, police said.

A Philadelphia judge dismissed all charges against Pownall, ruling that prosecutors had failed years ago to provide proper legal instructions to a grand jury as it weighed whether to charge him with murder.

Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara A. McDermott chastised prosecutors at the time for what she viewed as a series of errors, saying that if a defense attorney had behaved in a similar fashion before her, “I would declare them incompetent.”

“By his own public admission, Krasner and his office used the investigatory grand jury process rather than the judicial process to subvert the justification defense in Section 508,” said a statement from Williams and Bonner.

“This misconduct, and the deliberate misrepresentations and illegalities it entailed, constituted a gross abuse of power by Krasner. Because of these actions, the House impeachment managers, on behalf of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, are filing an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to continue the impeachment trial.

“We are taking this appeal because we are firmly convinced the separation of powers dictates the Pennsylvania Senate determine what facts constitute misbehavior in office, which is the failure to perform a positive ministerial duty or performance of a discretionary duty with an improper or corrupt motive,” Bonner said. “We are also confident the facts set out in the Articles of Impeachment support a guilty finding for misbehavior in office and any concern about invoking the rules of ethics in the articles is a preference for form over the substance of the misconduct.”

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