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Pa. House Committee votes in favor of Krasner impeachment

Pennsylvania House Committee votes in favor of Krasner impeachment
Pennsylvania House Committee votes in favor of Krasner impeachment 01:45

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- As Philadelphia works to put more cops on the street to fight crime, there was a step forward Tuesday in the effort to impeach District Attorney Larry Krasner. A Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of articles of impeachment against Krasner. The vote will now be sent to the floor of the state House.

The GOP-controlled state House of Representatives is moving closer to impeaching Krasner.

Republican state Rep. Martina White from Northeast Philadelphia says the process is about justice.

"I just want to make sure that the citizens of Philadelphia have an opportunity to live their life the way that we all deserve to be able to live," White said.

Republicans blame Krasner for the surge in crime because they consider the district attorney's policies too soft.

Democrats, including state Rep. Jason Dawkins, whose own brother was murdered in Philadelphia, say Krasner is not to blame.

"At no time did we look toward our district attorney as the culprit or as the individual that we were holding responsible," Dawkins said.

Krasner's office released a statement saying, in part:

"Pennsylvania House Republicans are using their final days as lame duck legislators with majority control to engage in a Hail Mary attempt to remove District Attorney Larry Krasner from office. Instead of learning from their historic losses on November 8th, these legislators -- like their failed gubernatorial nominee and colleague Doug Mastriano -- are more committed to gutting democracy than working for the people of the Commonwealth.

The committee voted to send these impeachment articles to the full Pennsylvania House, which could vote as early as Wednesday.

For now, at least, Republicans have the majority they would need in the House to impeach Krasner on a straight party-line vote.

They have a big majority in the Senate too but not big enough for the two-thirds vote they would need in that chamber to convict him without some Democrats crossing over and voting with them.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania's legislative director Elizabeth Randol released a statement following the vote.

"As we've been saying since the start of this sham impeachment effort targeting DA Krasner, this is both a clear political attack on a duly election official and an effort to disenfranchise the voters of Philadelphia who reelected Mr. Krasner just last year. The election last week was a clear rejection of the type of fear-mongering and tough-on-crime rhetoric that those leading the impeachment effort continue to sell. The people aren't buying it.

"Democracy won last Tuesday, but it seems like Republicans in the state House must have missed the news. This impeachment effort is anti-democratic on its own, but when you consider that those leading this effort rushed to hold a vote even as the balance of power remains undecided in the state House is remarkably cynical. When voters spoke last Tuesday, they clearly chose democracy. This is anything but and the politicians pushing for impeachment should take heed."

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