Hit-and-Run AG Faces Impeachment Push As Investigators Release Damning Interviews

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (Screenshot: KSFY/YouTube/TPM Illustration)
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February 24, 2021 9:50 a.m.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) has claimed that on the night he fatally struck Joe Boever, a pedestrian, with his car on September 12, he was unaware that he had hit a person and that he only found out the next morning when he revisited the scene and discovered Boever’s body.

However, a newly released video of Ravnsborg’s interview with law enforcement on September 30 shows investigators confronting the official with a damning finding: Boever’s glasses in Ravnsborg’s car.

In one of the two interview videos released by South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety on Tuesday, the North Dakota officials who were assisting the investigation point out the clear unlikelihood that the attorney general didn’t know he had hit Boever given that the man’s glasses were found in the car.

“His face was in your windshield, Jason. Think about that,” one of the investigators says.

Ravnsborg continues to insist he never saw Boever.

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Before the videos were released on Tuesday night, South Dakota state Rep. Will Mortenson (R) introduced a resolution with bipartisan support that day to impeach and remove Ravnsborg, who has been charged with misdemeanors in the case.

The resolution, which is being co-sponsored by House Majority Leader Kent Peterson (R) and Minority Leader Jamie Smith (D), has two impeachment articles charging Ravnsborg with “certain crimes or misdemeanors in office” for causing Boever’s death and for his actions following the collision, including his “reporting” of the incident.

Ravnsborg “undertook actions unbecoming the Attorney General” and “failed to meet the standard of” his office during the investigation into the crash, the second article states.

South Dakota House Speaker Spencer Gosch (R) told TPM via email that he is undecided on impeaching the attorney general.

“I have not seen all the evidence to come to a conclusion on impeachment,” said Gosch.

The move comes less than a week after state prosecutors announced they were charging the attorney general with three traffic-related misdemeanors for fatally striking Boever on the night of September 12 as he was returning home from a GOP fundraiser.

Ravnsborg claims that he was unaware at the time of the collision that he had hit a person and that he did not discover Boever’s body until he returned to the site of the crash the morning afterward. Blood toxicology tests, administered more than 10 hours after the incident, did not show drugs or alcohol in his system.

The attorney general has been charged with careless driving, driving outside his lane and using a mobile device while operating a motor vehicle. He faces jail time of up to 30 days and a fine of up to $500 for each charge.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and House Majority Whip Tim Goodwin (R) have both called on Ravnsborg to resign.

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