Argus Leader: “…There’s more at stake for Ravnsborg than just guilty or not guilty. Rather, what happens within the next week will have implications not only on Ravnsborg’s criminal record, but also his political and financial future”
Accountable.US: “Jason Ravnsborg is taking desperate, victim-blaming measures to excuse his alleged deadly distracted driving behavior — another reminder why it’s indefensible that he remains the state’s top law enforcement official”
Washington, D.C. — Nearly a year after South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg struck and killed an innocent bystander while reportedly driving distracted, the trial is preparing to come to a close, The Argus Leader reported. Even after bipartisan calls for impeachment and Republican Governor Kristi Noem’s call for him to step down, Ravnsborg remains the state’s top law enforcement official, and the Republican Attorneys General Association remains by his side.
“Jason Ravnsborg is taking desperate, victim-blaming measures to excuse his alleged deadly distracted driving behavior — another reminder why it’s indefensible that he remains the state’s top law enforcement official. As his victim’s family is forced to watch this play out in public, Ravnsborg and his legal team are throwing every justification at the wall, no matter how outrageous or offensive, hoping something sticks,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “All the while, he retains the backing of the Republican Attorneys General Association, which has failed to condemn his actions. The group’s continued silence as Ravnsborg mounts his disgusting defense proves they believe the law simply does not apply to one of their own.”
Ravnsborg is facing criminal charges related to killing a man while driving “distracted” on his cell phone after a late-night Republican fundraiser. There has been strong bipartisan support for his resignation, including from Republican Governor Kristi Noem and large swaths of South Dakota law enforcement. Republican state legislators have filed for impeachment, and the Army Reserves placed a hold on his military promotion, making it unclear why RAGA would continue to support the disgraced attorney general. RAGA is Ravnsborg’s largest campaign contributor by far, having donated over $100,000 to his campaign, and his donation page remains active on RAGA’s website.
Key Information from The Argus Leader’s Reporting [See excerpts below]:
- “Despite calls for his resignation and a push for his impeachment by lawmakers last winter, Ravnsborg, 45, has continued to serve as South Dakota’s top elected law enforcement official since the night of Sept. 12, 2020, when he called 911 to report he’d struck ‘something’ while making the 120-mile trip home to Pierre after attending a political fundraiser in Redfield.”
- “Rapid City-based defense attorney Tim Rensch will argue on Ravnsborg’s behalf that Boever had a history of substance abuse and suicidal tendencies that culminated in him throwing himself in front of Ravnsborg’s car, and that Ravnsborg wasn’t lying when he told a 911 dispatcher that he was driving in the “middle of the road’ when he struck Boever.
- “That’s because there’s more at stake for Ravnsborg than just guilty or not guilty. Rather, what happens within the next week will have implications not only on Ravnsborg’s criminal record, but also his political and financial future.
- “Because what happens in a criminal case can have bearing on related civil suits that might follow, Ravnsborg is going all in to try and prove his innocence, even going as far as to call into question Boever’s character and mental and psychological stability before his death.”
- “Whether Ravnsborg is found guilty at his trial could dictate how much longer he’s the attorney general, as well. Thus far, he’s maintained his innocence and his ability to be South Dakota’s top prosecutor and law enforcement official.
- “A conviction would be undeniable and could prompt him to resign. And even if he didn’t choose to leave office willingly, a guilty verdict could rekindle talks of impeachment that reached a feverish pitch during last winter’s legislative session.”
- “A bi-partisan group of state House leaders publicly voiced support for impeachment proceedings to move forward before those efforts stalled when a retired Hyde County judge ordered all elected officials hold off on discussing the case until the criminal charges facing Ravnsborg were resolved.
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