Release:  Article of Impeachment Filed Against Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg 

 Article of Impeachment Filed Against Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg 

Republican Representative Will Mortenson (District 24) has filed a resolution proposing two Articles of Impeachment to remove Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg from office. The resolution is co-sponsored by House Majority Leader Kent Peterson (R-District 19) and House Minority Leader Jamie Smith (D-District 15). 

“The Attorney General has a special obligation to follow the laws and protect the public,” said Mortenson. “Jason Ravnsborg’s actions and statements related to the death of Joseph Boever breached those obligations to the people of South Dakota, and he should be removed from office.” 

Article XVI of the South Dakota Constitution grants the House of Representatives the sole authority to bring an impeachment action against a state official like the Attorney General. The resolution included two separate Articles of Impeachment, one concerning the crimes and misdemeanors that caused the death of Joseph Boever on September 12, 2020 and one concerning the statements and actions of Jason Ravnsborg in reporting the crime and the resulting investigation. 

“This isn’t about party or politics. It’s about doing the right thing for South Dakota,” said Peterson. “We must hold our elected leaders to a high standard. In this case, the Attorney General has failed to meet that standard, and we owe it to the people to bring these Articles,” Peterson added. 

“What happened was a tragedy for all involved,” said Smith. “However, that cannot deter us from fulfilling our duties. The Attorney General has lost the confidence of the people of South Dakota, and he should be removed from office for the betterment of the state.” 

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Rep. Will Mortenson (R-District 24) Statement on Filing Articles of Impeachment:

“Earlier today, I filed a Resolution including Articles of Impeachment calling for the removal of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg from office. The decision was unpleasant and the situation is truly tragic, for all involved.

The filing followed months of consideration and advice. Ultimately, I felt that while the charging decision may have been correct, the Attorney General owes a higher duty to the Laws of the State of South Dakota and the People of the State of South Dakota. In his actions on the night of September 12, 2020 and following the incident, Attorney General Ravnsborg breached that duty and has lost the confidence of the people of South Dakota. When that happens, I believe the legislature has an obligation to exercise its constitutional authority to remove him from office.

There are several aspects that I’d like you to know about the decision.

First, I have no axe to grind with Attorney General Ravnsborg. I have always had a good relationship with him. This is not political and it is not personal. Again, I do not believe Attorney General Ravnsborg belongs in prison, but I know he does not belong in the Office of the Attorney General anymore.

Second, removal from office is an exceptional mechanism and should only be used in exceptional cases. In Washington, DC, they use impeachment to further political agendas and carry out partisan missions. In South Dakota, we should only use this in grave circumstances. In this case, a state official caused the death of a citizen and failed to comport himself in the standards we expect following the incident. Our state has never had such an occurrence, where the elected official refused to resign. In short, this is clearly an exceptional case.

Finally, the Attorney General is a member of the same party as me and I know him. Those facts cannot dissuade me from making this decision. We need to put principle and our people ahead of politics or our party. In South Dakota, the fact that we are in the same party means that my colleagues and I have had a lot of opportunities to spend time with Attorney General Ravnsborg. That makes this a very uncomfortable exercise, and I would ask that all members are afforded grace in their decision-making.”

66 thoughts on “Release:  Article of Impeachment Filed Against Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg ”

    1. This reminds me of Trump’s impeachment, too: all inconvenient facts are completely rejected by his supporters.

    2. @Pondering, A completely delusional statement. They found Boevers glasses in Ravnsborgs car. His head went through the windshield. Next.

  1. This smells of political maneuvering. Someone wants the AG job and is using Mortenson as a patsy to do it.

    I still would like to see the evidence, so far nothing is out there that shows anything more than an accident.

    1. Again, the accident report is freely available and easy to find. It supports the charge of lane driving and careless driving. Nobody is asserting that it wasn’t an accident. People are asserting the AG was negligent and killed someone as a result.

      1. Where is the accident report, the investigation will have a ton of more factual information that will support innocence or the two misdemenors. There is nothing out there right now supporting negligence. You need to bring some facts other than opions.

        1. Nat, thanks for broadcasting you’re too lazy or ignorant to figure out a google search. Take some personal responsibility. Kelo, Argus, DNN, and JCJ have all posted the accident report, which clearly indicates negligence. He wasn’t in his lane and he wasn’t aware of what he hit. No matter how dark it was, with headlights he’d have see Joe at least 5 seconds before impact had he been paying attention.

          1. And you are too lazy to understand that the accident report is not from the investigation, that hasn’t been released. This one is a trumped-up report from the South Dakota highway patrol, not the North Dakota highway patrol who was conducting the investigation. It is meaningless the one that was released.

            Additionally, it has false and inaccurate information in it. Next time, do your homework properly, please.

            1. Name what the SD report got materially wrong that you think the ND report will refute.

              Put up or shut up.

    2. Totally agree. Those bringing the charges never supported Ravnsborg to start with and now they are making political hay for their own aspirations for higher office. Pierre politics as usual.

    3. @Tom Completely delusional statements. They found Boevers glasses in Ravnsborgs car. His head went through the windshield. However, I am slightly concerned with whom Noem will replace him with.

  2. I think there’s a lot of people including many Republicans who think he should have resigned. Yes, it may have been an unfortunate accident — certainly was for Boever and I could argue that it’s been unfortunate for the AG as well. However, those of us who believe strongly in personal responsibility believe Ravnsborg should take some responsibility here even if it believes it was an accident. He should stand up and say he’s going to hold himself to a higher personal standard and resign for the good of the state — no need for distractions in that office.

    A lot of us also believe that he’s unlikely to resign because he doesn’t have a very good fall back — he never had a big job before this one so there’s no going back to a big firm with lots of clients. His decision not to resign is selfish and he’s being advised by people who also want to cling to their good jobs. Yes – he may be a nice guy and he may work hard, but he won’t ever get elected to a statewide office again. It’s time to take a break and start over — he can put his hard work into building something meaningful for himself that is not public service.

    1. In fact, e was a partner in a law firm and took a pay cut to be AG. He is also a Lt. Colonel in the Reserves and has had a commendable career. He was plenty successful and still is.

      I think you have other reasons to put him down.

      1. “… took a pay cut to be AG.”

        [snort] [chuckle] [snort]

        Priceless comedy. How did Seinfeld ever let you get away?

          1. Yes, I am jealous of ‘Anonymous, 4:57 p.m.’.
            Despite my substantial talent in comedic production, Seinfeld has never called me.
            Not even once.

    2. Selfish defines him. When there is no sign of a deer on your smashed car, you should think human, and then “if I hit someone, I better find them”. He has shown himself to be irredeemably selfish. Impeach or resign. Dishonorable discharge from the military.

  3. This doesn’t end well for Jason if he doesn’t resign. Further, he drags a bunch of legislators through the mud with him not to mention creates a distraction from important legislative work. But mark my words, he would not come out of an impeachment process looking any better. Same result as a resignation, but with more public and private pain all around.

  4. So what in your position makes this impeachable? I could go wither way on resignation. Politically yes. Otherwise I don’t know. It’s a tragic accident. He could just say he won’t seek reelection.

    But impeachable? 1st time in SD history? No.

    Bad deal to abuse political power for political gain. This is a sad day for SD.

  5. Will Mortenson is acting like the democrats and using impeachment as a political weapon against Ravnsborg. Who is Mortenson working for, who behind the scenes is pulling his string I wonder???

  6. If the majority leader knows how to count, this already has the votes to pass. I hope Mr. Ravnsborg goes through the process. Pressure to resign will be intense.

      1. Majority leaders don’t take chances on flaky proposals. If they do, a majority of their peers will get new leadership. How is this a lie?

        1. Cliff, some people aren’t smart enough to understand opinions are not facts. A person is lying only when misrepresenting facts. An opinion is a view and not a lie if it is not a mistating of one’s view.

            1. He may have facts but he certainly has experience observing the process which at minimum makes it a highly informed opinion.

              When people sign their name, smart people also can assess the experience and credibility making the statement. Cliff has both experience and credibility.

              Who are you? As far as I can tell and making an inference on your statements, you are a person with neither experience or credibility.

  7. Classic rush to judgement, get out front. How is this different than moving to impeach Trump before all the facts were in regarding the Ukraine with a total lack of proportion of penalty fitting the crime?

    1. @Troy – Uhhh… Boevers glasses were found in Ravnsborgs car??? Meaning his face went right up into the windshield? “Out front” ? thats a horrible reality TV show on a network called CNN

  8. The greatest legal mind of our time shouldn’t be questioned like this. Jason is the victim here. The tapes shown by the liberal media have been obviously been doctored. This is all part of a plot by Antifa and Black Lives Matter. The legislators bringing charges need to be investigated for their connections to these groups.

  9. Go to the Argus Leader and read the investigation transcript, and then come back here and say if you think he is still worthy of being AG. I am a Republican, and I say no. Up until reading the report, I assumed he was innocent. I am surprised no more serious charges were filed.

  10. Makes sense to me. Insider GOP is thinking Ravnsborg is now a vulnerable candidate. Everybody knows he killed a man and, regardless of what the courts say, people are going to draw their own conclusions from that. Mix that with a Brendan Johnson-like candidate and you might have a real race. Now they’re going to brush him out the door and plop in a more palatable option to shore up their bets.

    If you’re pissed Ravnsborg is going to be impeached, point your blame at the Pierre political class. And if you agree with the above, well, then, you just might be a hack.

    1. Have you watched the interview?? Clearly, you did not or would see an individual freely answering questions when he didn’t have to. He gets teary-eyed during it. No lying or guilty person would have freely given an interview, handed over his cell phone to authorities, and corporated as much as Ravsnborg done.

      1. He admits to reading websites on his phone just minutes before the collision, but swears that he wasn’t on his phone when it happened? Lies.

        He says it happened in the middle of the road, but it’s proven that he was well into the shoulder? More lies.

        He claims he thought it was a deer, but the victim’s face literally came though the windshield? The biggest lie.

        1. Agreed — my opinion based on the interviews is that he lies. He either had serious doubts about hitting a deer — and that’s why he walks the ditch the next day. Or, he really didn’t know what he hit because he was on his phone at the time. I’d like to understand why the prosecutors think he was on his phone east of town — that seems to be speculation on their part and not necessarily fact.

        2. Are you kidding me, do you not think in today’s world they can pinpoint within a second when he was on the phone and when the guy in the road was hit?? That is why they stated the phone was not a contributor to the accident. So again you are wrong, Ravnsborg was not distracted.

          1. Then he absolutely knew he hit a person, not a deer, considering that person’s head literally came though the windshield. You can’t have it both ways.

            1. Bingo. Can’t say you didn’t know what you hit AND you weren’t distracted. ‘Tunnel vision’ isn’t a good answer — maybe after you hit someone but not before. Distracted or he knew. As the BCI says – people make mistakes. I think he made a mistake. Unfortunately mistakes happen – accidents happen. But it’s time for him to stop clinging to the job. We’re all replaceable. He needs to do the honorable thing and resign his position. Frankly, if I was him I’d want to stand up and resign myself. I wouldn’t put my family and my staff through impeachment. Time to own your mistake and to start over. If I could tell him one thing it would be this — you may think your life is crashing down but this will pass with time once you resign. You just can’t be the chief prosecutor without this accident creating a shadow over everything you do. And you won’t ever get reelected.

            2. If his head came through the windshield, wouldn’t it have been stuck there? Sounds like your opinion and not a fact.

              1. Then please, PLEASE tell us: how did the man’s reading glasses end up in the car? They just materialize there, as if by magic?

  11. After watching both videos it’s clear the AG must resign or be impeached. He was not being honest in disclosing many facts about phone usage and no way he didn’t see Boever flashlight. I think there needs to be a strong look at the Sheriff over there as well. While the impact was an accident it’s clear dishonesty is taking place in that second interview. Sad day for our state.

  12. I’m not sure the votes are there. Before a trial? Seriously? Yes the governor smeared him. No he is not electable.

    AG Mortenson or Venhiesen or whomever the governor would appoint isn’t exactly exciting either.

    It looks like some people want a shortcut to the top by appointment.

  13. I’ve turned the corner, I’m with Ravnsborg. Let the fight begin, come on SD GOP wut u got? Lets go.

  14. Hasn’t the governor completely violated Ravnsborg’s right to due process?

    Does the legal community have nothing to say?

    I would think the Bar association would get involved in this matter and let her know she has crossed a line.

  15. I watched the videos, of the Hyde County press conference and most of the interviews.

    The Hyde County presser revealed he had locked his cell phone on the east side of Highmore 75 seconds before the crash on the west side,
    so he wasn’t using his cell phone at the time of the crash.
    The investigation reveals he was traveling 67 mph or 98’/second. He said in the interview he had his low beams on. Low beams illuminate about 200′
    So he could only see two seconds ahead.
    He said he saw the sign which said Pierre 48. and then the impact occurred. That sign has three lines of text: Holabird 8, Junction 83 31, and Pierre 48. It takes more than two seconds to read it. The sign itself presents enough distraction.

    As for nobody figuring it out it wasn’t a deer, the Sheriff looked around and after letting the AG leave, returned with a tow truck operator to remove the car. So three people were at the scene that night and didn’t see anybody lying in the ditch.
    People driving by in the morning didn’t see the body either.
    That’s quite a few people to be involved in some sort of sinister conspiracy. Already there are stories about how the body must have been moved. One person has asserted the vehicle was on top of the body, that’s why they couldn’t find it, and the tow truck operator left it there.

    Is there some as-yet-unidentified human need to elaborate on a story?

    1. He originally claimed that he wasn’t on his phone at all while driving other than to check the time, then was proved to be lying. He claimed he was driving in the middle of the road, then was proved to be lying. How can he be trusted to uphold the law when he can’t answer straightforward and repeated questions honestly? Is the truth in law a luxury or a necessity? We are all held to a high standard under the law, and I would presume our #1 law enforcement officer should not be an exception to that.

      1. I don’t recall hearing him say he wasn’t on the phone at all, I recall him saying he called his father. The call dropped, and he called him back.

        He said he looked at his phone for some reason. The report said it was a “look/see” (whatever that is) 75 seconds before the accident.
        He wasn’t using his phone at the time of the accident.

        As for his location on the roadway, yes, why not accept the idea he had veered out of his lane and didn’t realize it? Maybe he was inattentive, drowsy, or fiddling with the radio. Why make the assumption he was lying about it?

        Why is anybody finding it necessary to make this excessively complicated?

        1. So he was so negligent that he never realized he went onto the shoulder of the road, even after the fact? And you think this supports the claim that the legislature should not hold him responsible for killing someone?

    2. A couple points:

      1. the need to elaborate on the story of why a man was killed and what caused his death isn’t some mystery, Anne. You are intentionally being dense.

      2. It doesn’t take 2 seconds to read a distance sign. Even if it did, how often do you veer onto the shoulder of the road while reading these signs? How often do you then lie about being on the shoulder?

      3. Many of us aren’t arguing about finding the body. We are arguing that it is perplexing that a lifelong South Dakotan would mistake a human carrying a flashlight with a deer, especially when that human’s head came through his windshield.

      Your justifications ignore a lot of important points in support of a narrative you’ve created.

      1. Do we know the head came through the window or was that just said to get a confession?

        A lot of what was said in the video is not something that is the same as the states attorney talked about when charging.

          1. And a lot of what was said in the video are typical tactics by investigators to try and trip up people. Ravnsborg sounded genuine and distraught after being told these details. Doesn’t sound like someone lying to me.

            Now we need the investigation to see if any of these details are true or a ruse to confuse and put Ravnsborg off his game.

            1. If this is true, then why were the interviews released by Noem without first going back to the investigators to clarify, and disclose that when making them public. If she’s just hanging him out to dry, it’s terribly unfair, so damaging to his reputation, and doesn’t reflect well on her. At this point it’s so hard to know what really happened, but I’ve known three people (family members) who were so stunned after an accident (somewhat more serious than this one) they couldn’t recall any details. Noem might be putting this out under the guise of being transparent with the real intention to rid herself of a problem and the benefits of assigning her own AG. She’s proven she doesn’t really like transparency, if that light is on her.

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