The South Dakota Speaker of the House is announcing plans for impeachment proceedings into whether Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg should be removed from office.
Republican Spencer Gosch says he wants to form a committee of ten representatives to investigate whether the conduct of Ravnsborg was an impeachable offense.
On Tuesday, Republican Representative Will Mortenson introduced articles of impeachment against the attorney general. Ravnsborg was charged with three misdemeanors for a fatal car crash that killed Joe Beover in September.
The impeachment resolution was introduced on the house floor Wednesday afternoon.
The impeachment articles are co-sponsored by Republican Majority Leader Kent Peterson, and Democrat Minority leader Jamie Smith.
Peterson says elected officials must be held to a higher standard and the attorney general has failed to meet them. He says house lawmakers owe it to the people to bring impeachment articles.
“The process is being formalized as we speak. That will be brought forward next week and we will take it on as it comes then,” Peterson says.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General says Ravsnborg does not intend to resign and that the investigation has not impeded his ability to fulfill the duties of the office.
Governor Kristi Noem says she called on Ravnsborg to resign after reviewing the case and watching three hours of interrogation video performed by North Dakota investigators. That video was given to the public.
Noem says more information is also being released soon.
“These interview, we specifically asked for the family’s consent to do that,” Noem says. “We’re going to continue to ask the family what to release, what they’re okay with, throughout this process.”
Speaker Gosch says the committee will have the power of subpoena for documents and persons to testify. That group will provide recommendations on whether articles of impeachment should be issued and how the house will manage its impeachment case.
The panel will bring a recommendation to the full house by March 29—veto day, which is a regularly scheduled legislative day to consider overriding any governor vetoes.