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Pa. House Democrats, Republicans Tussle Over Attorney-General Hearing

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(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A Pennsylvania House committee hearing this morning on the possible impeachment of state attorney general Kathleen Kane proceeded despite a walkout by Democratic members and staffers at the start of the hearing.

As the  GOP-orchestrated hearing began, Democratic members tried first to force an adjournment.

Then, Rep. Michael O’Brien (D-Phila.) tried to make a “privileged motion,” but Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler County), the chairman of the House State Government Committee, refused to recognize him.

O’Brien persisted:

(O’BRIEN:)  “Mr. Chairman, I would like to make…”

(METCALFE:) “Security, please remove Rep. O’Brien from this hearing.”

(VOICE:) “Mr. Chairman, you do not have the authority to remove a sitting member of this committee.”

(METCALFE:)  “I have the authority — go check with the speaker. Please remove Rep. O’Brien from this hearing.”

(O’BRIEN:) “I would like to make a motion.”

But before House security guards could remove O’Brien, he and other Democratic members left the hearing room.

Remaining Republican members then heard testimony on allegations of Kane’s “misbehavior” in office, including her refusal to defend the state’s marriage law in court (see related story).

The chairman says he’ll consult with House members before deciding whether to proceed with impeachment.

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