Last week Speaker Spencer Gosch (R-23/Glenham) got the hard drive with the full investigation file on Jason Ravnsborg’s killing of Joseph Boever and said it could take months for him to get through all those documents and decide whether to impeach the Attorney General.
House Republican leader Kent Peterson said Thursday he wants the South Dakota Legislature to call itself into special session to consider whether to impeach state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
…Peterson’s Thursday announcement came on Gosch’s letterhead.
…“If the call to special session is successful, I intend to appoint a committee to investigate matters involving Attorney General Ravnsborg. It is important to note that the Legislature is not (equipped) to, nor does not intend to retry criminal matters. The constitution is clear on what our role is.” Gosch said, referencing Article 16 of the South Dakota Constitution. “The process will be fair, thorough, and transparent.”
Said Peterson, “Before we concluded the session in March, the House of Representatives voted on a resolution that stated we may evaluate the matter pertaining to the Attorney General when the judicial process was completed. Since that process has finished, I am asking that the legislature convene to start the formal process of investigating the matter surrounding Attorney General Ravnsborg” [Bob Mercer, “House Leader Calls for Special Session to Consider Impeaching Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg,” KELO-TV, 2021.09.09].
November 9 is the day after the scheduled November 8 Special Session called for redistricting. If the House does convene that Tuesday and impeach the Attorney General, South Dakota Constitution Article 16 Section 5 immediately suspends the Attorney General from his office. Article 16 Section 7 requires the Senate to wait at least 20 days before trying the Attorney General. The Senate would thus have to call itself back into another Special Session on November 29 at the earliest. If the House votes to impeach Ravnsborg within a week of its convening, the Senate could save itself a little travel and hold a Special Session trial in conjunction with the planned December 7 budget address from the Governor.
If Peterson, Gosch, and their associates are planning to consider impeachment in November, that’s all the more reason for Speaker Gosch and other legislators who have received the Ravnsborg investigation file to release that file to the public now, so the public may review the same information legislators have and weigh whether they want their legislators to revoke the public’s 2018 vote and remove their elected Attorney General from office.