Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff issued this statement on 
the House voting to hold Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in contempt for his willful refusal to comply with a duly issued subpoena from the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order:

“Refusing to comply with a duly issued subpoena issued by the full authority of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is extraordinary, nearly unprecedented, and dangerously undemocratic. By doing so, the Philadelphia district attorney, an officer of the court and a representative of the Commonwealth, says he is holding himself above the law, that he is untouchable,” Benninghoff said.

The district attorney is a lawyer, an officer of the court, and a representative of the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and he needs to know that the law is the law. It applies to the people he refuses to prosecute. It applies to him,” Benninghoff continued.

“Taking this action today is the first step in further accountability. It is a necessary action that puts other remedies in play and allows the Select Committee and the House to seek compliance or have the district attorney face additional punishment.”


Background

Philadelphia is experiencing a year of record bloodshed.

Philadelphians fear for their kids going to school.

Seniors are scared to ride SEPTA or sit in front of their own home.

Violence is exploding in the city… the quality of life is declining.

Addressing this violence takes a multi-effort approach. 

The House acted by providing money in the state budget for task forces, training, assistance, mental health and community efforts.

The House also voted to form the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order.

The committee is empowered to investigate:

The rising rates of crime, including the enforcement and prosecution of violent crime and offenses involving the illegal possession of firearms in Philadelphia. 
The use of public funds intended for the purpose of enforcing the criminal law and prosecuting crime in Philadelphia and elsewhere. 
The enforcement of crime victim rights. 
The use of public funds intended for the purpose of benefitting crime victims.

To combat this historic crime wave, everyone must participate – police, prosecutors and community leaders. No one is above the law, no one. 

We have asked District Attorney Krasner to participate, to provide information, instead, he decided to go to court to block this House Committee from doing its job. 

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to hold Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in Contempt of the House for willfully refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order.

 
Actions by the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order

Rep. John Lawrence, chairman of the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order, sponsored House Resolution 227, a Resolution finding that Philadelphia District Attorney Lawrence Krasner is in contempt of the House of Representatives.

The Resolution passed in the House by a vote of 162-38.

Rep. Lawrence's introductory remarks on HR 227 before the House vote


Prior to the House vote,  the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order unanimously moved to recommend that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner be held in contempt due to his refusal to comply with subpoenas issued by the committee last month. The committee also adopted an interim report on the matter.


House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order voting meeting 


House Resolution 216 established the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order to investigate, review and make legislative findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives regarding the rising rates of crime in the City of Philadelphia; the city’s use of public funds intended for law enforcement and prosecuting crime; the enforcement of crime victim rights in Philadelphia; and the use of public funds for the purpose of benefitting the city’s crime victims. The resolution authorizes the chairman to subpoena information relevant to the committee’s work.



Additional Comments from Members of the PA House

Rep. Martina White:
“As Philadelphia, my home city, is experiencing another year of historic crime and violence, District Attorney Larry Krasner has sought to blame everyone for the city’s problems but himself. My city’s streets are unsafe and there seemingly are no consequences for those who violate the law, despite the best efforts of law enforcement to lock up dangerous criminals. Today’s vote to hold Krasner in contempt shows a significant bipartisan majority of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives stands for law and order and puts a check on the district attorney’s above-the-law attitude. It is the first, and a necessary, step in ensuring Larry Krasner can no longer let his brand of woke politics wreak havoc on Philadelphians who just want to live in safe communities.”

Rep. Josh Kail:
“I have said from the beginning that Larry Krasner is not above the law. His continued willful defiance of the investigative Select Committee looking at historic crime and violence in Philadelphia shows he continues to not believe the law applies to him. By holding him in contempt today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is continuing to stand for the rule of law, accountability, and ensuring Pennsylvania’s elected officials deliver on their promise to uphold the law.”

Rep. Tim O’Neal:
“Larry Krasner is a failed district attorney who has violated his oath of office and continues to operate outside the boundaries of the law. I was glad to see a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives stand up to hold this rogue actor responsible and put the force of law and support of the House behind the subpoenas issued by the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order. It is my hope that today’s vote is the first step in further accountability against Larry Krasner as we seek to ensure the laws of this Commonwealth are enforced and respected in Philadelphia.”