Amendment for House impeachment on Ravnsborg will delay process until legal case finishes

KELOLAND.com Original

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The impeachment process for South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, which was going to start with committee hearings Wednesday morning, is being halted. 

In a news release Tuesday, Speaker of the South Dakota House of Representatives Spencer Gosch (R-Glenham) announced an amendment to HR 7001, which calls for Representatives to let the legal process play out before impeachment articles move forward.

Representative Will Mortenson, who introduced the resolution, issued the following statement on Tuesday:

“The Judge’s Order from last week bars legislators and the public from having full access to the facts. Legislative leadership has decided that we can’t move forward with some of this information sealed, so we will wait to proceed. I’m disappointed that we are not moving forward more quickly, but understand the desire for full transparency. I have not changed my mind about the duties owed by the South Dakota Attorney General, nor about my conviction that those duties have been breached. I hope Mr. Ravnsborg considers resignation in the meantime to help the state turn the page on this unfortunate event. It is clear at this point that would be in the best interest of the state and the office. The people can have confidence that many in the Legislature remain committed to upholding a high standard for our public officials.”

Rep. Mortenson

The release announcing the amendment says “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.” 

“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.” Speaker Gosch said in a statement.

Last week, a circuit judge has granted Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s request to stop South Dakota authorities, including Governor Kristi Noem from releasing any more reports, interviews or anything involving evidence from the deadly crash in September.

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