HARRISBURG- Rep. Craig Williams (R-Delaware/Chester), chairman of the House impeachment managers, today announced that the House managers in the impeachment trial of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner have filed their appeal
in the state Supreme Court.
“We have appealed the Commonwealth Court ruling concluding there was no misbehavior in office by DA Krasner as alleged in the Articles of Impeachment. Our brief sets out a thorough dismantling of that position. For example, the lower court determined that the articles improperly used the ethics rules as a basis for determining whether DA Krasner’s conduct was unlawful. We have argued that the very same conduct might have just as easily been alleged as crimes. The lower court did no analysis of the unlawful behavior itself,” Williams said.
“Pennsylvania’s official oppression statute makes it a crime for a public official to knowingly and intentionally deprive another’s legal rights. The articles are replete with instances where DA Krasner used his office to do exactly that, be it police officers, family members of murder victims, or other crime victims. In fact, the many alleged instances of DA Krasner and his office lying to the courts constitute overt acts in furtherance of several instances of official oppression – a crime," continued Williams.
The appeal focuses on the case of Police Officer Robert Pownall, for which the courts have reprimanded Krasner and his office.
For example, in the case of the Officer Pownall shooting, the District Attorney’s Office failed to provide the legal instruction for homicide and made an intentional, deliberate choice not to inform the grand jurors about the justification defense available to Officer Pownall, despite being aware of it.
The trial court also found that the district attorney’s office “demonstrated a lack of candor to the Court by misstating the law and providing [it] with incorrect case law” and was “disingenuous with the Court when it asserted [for various reasons] that it had good cause to bypass the preliminary hearing,” resulting in prejudice to Officer Pownall and the violation of his due process rights. In addition, the District Attorney’s Office withheld from Officer Pownall its own expert report concluding that Officer Pownall’s use of deadly force was justified.
“As properly alleged, District Attorney Krasner and his office knowingly made false statements to the courts, failed to disclose evidence in court, prejudiced the administration of justice and neglected to provide legally required notice to victims of crime, behavior which entirely violates our criminal code. If the lower court wants us to prove criminal activity, our articles have alleged such conduct, we will make that case to the Supreme Court, and we will then prove it at trial,” Williams said.
Representative Craig Williams
160th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster