Republican-led South Dakota House impeaches GOP attorney general following fatal car crash

Republican-led South Dakota House impeaches GOP attorney general following fatal car crash
Jravnsbo1 / Wikimedia Commons

The South Dakota House has made an unprecedented move to impeach the state's Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) following his 2020 car crash that claimed one man's life.

According to The Associated Press, South Dakota's Republican-led House voted 36-31 making Ravnsborg the first elected official to be impeached in the state's history. In wake of the controversy surrounding the death of Joseph Boever, Ravnsborg is still facing scrutiny as questions loom about what really transpired on that fateful night.

MSNBC News' Steve Benen shed light on incriminating details about the crash reporting: "Complicating matters, the state attorney general has faced accusations that he misled law enforcement about the incident. In fact, while Ravnsborg insisted he did not know he’d hit a pedestrian, the victim’s eyeglasses were found in the Republican’s car.

He added, "There’s a recording of a police detective who investigated the incident telling Ravnsborg, 'His face was in your windshield, Jason. Think about that.'”

In the midst of the disturbing allegations, other elected officials in South Dakota have also weighed in. House Speaker Spencer Gosch (R) said, “He should have stepped down, should have done the honorable thing."

The vote came hours after Ravnborg released a statement about the unprecedented move. “In a few hours, your vote will set a precedent for years to come,” Ravnsborg wrote. “No state has ever impeached an elected official for a traffic accident.”

Following Ravnsborg's impeachment, the Boever family shared their reactions. For them, it brings some relief and they belief its a step in the right direction. “We’re a step closer to justice. We’re not done,” said Boever’s cousin, Nick Nemec.

“Now we just need the Senate’s help on this because these laws need to be changed badly,” said Boever's ex-wife, Jennifer. “People are getting hurt and killed, and the pedestrian has no self-defense against a 4,000 pound (1,814 kilogram) vehicle.”

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