Pennsylvania House Democrats walk out of hearing on Kathleen Kane impeachment plan

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Democrats on a Pennsylvania House committee walked out of a hearing on a resolution calling for the impeachment of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a fellow Democrat.

The lawmakers called Tuesday's hearing an unfair end-run of the parliamentary process. One of them, Pa. Rep. Michael O'Brien, of Philadelphia, called it a "kangaroo court."

The non-voting hearing of the State Government Committee is devoted to testimony by conservative allies of Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, the panel's chairman and sponsor of the resolution.

Metcalfe contends, among other things, that Kane broke the law when she refused last year to defend Pennsylvania's law banning same-sex marriage against a lawsuit.

Kane said the law is unconstitutional.

The resolution also cites Kane's decision to scuttle a legislative sting operation in which four Democratic state lawmakers were allegedly caught on recordings accepting money from a confidential informant.

Kane, who inherited the probe when she took office last year, has said the case was too weak to prosecute.

Metcalfe called in security officers to eject O'Brien after he interrupted Metcalfe to make a motion, prompting the Democrats' protest walkout.

"In complete violation of the House rules, Chairman Daryl Metcalfe refused to recognize a Democratic member who was trying to make a motion," said Pa. Rep. Mike Schlossberg, of Allentown. "This whole thing was a kangaroo court, set up by the chairman because of his policy differences with the attorney general."

No immediate vote is expected.

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