UPDATE: AG Ravnsborg’s Impeachment Vote
UPDATE: Submitted by Patrick Callahan - The House State Affairs Committee this morning unanimously voted to amend HR7001, the articles of impeachment concerning State Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. The amended articles effectively halt the impeachment proceedings and cast doubt on if or when the issue may be taken up in the future.
District 24 State Representative Will Mortenson introduced the original resolution last week. He testified today that lawmakers have “an obligation to our constitutional duties” and that impeachment was an “exceptional mechanism” only to be used in “exceptional circumstances.” Mortenson says the Attorney Generals' actions are such a circumstance.
House Speaker Spencer Gosch then moved an amended resolution, HR7001F, which effectively halts any discussion of impeachment proceedings until after a Hyde County court resolves the misdemeanor charges against Ravnsborg.
An amendment by the South Dakota House is putting a pause on the impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. The proceedings were scheduled to begin on Wednesday morning.
The delay is to "allow due process," according to Dakota News Now. South Dakota Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch released a statement on Tuesday that removes the articles of impeachment and allows the House to see what happens in the legal case against Ravnborg. The amendment requires the approval of the House State Affairs Committee.
The amendment reads: After a conviction, or plea of guilty, or nolo contendere, or acquittal in case number 34MAG21-00001, State v. Jason Ravnsborg, the House of Representatives may evaluate whether articles of impeachment against Jason Ravnsborg, Attorney General of the State of South Dakota, are necessary and proceed accordingly.
Speaker Gosch told Dakota News Now that a court order from Judge John Brown states that all interviews of Ravnsborg with investigators must be removed from government websites. Judge Brown says the release of these interviews could hinder Ravnsborg's chance at a fair trial.
“Our proceedings need to be fair and transparent. In light of the recent court order issued by the Honorable John Brown, we have some concerns on what our abilities are in a public proceeding,” said Speaker Gosch.
Ravnsborg is facing three misdemeanor charges after he struck and killed 55-year-old Joseph Boever in September.