South Dakota House hiring lawyer to guide AG impeachment

South Dakota lawmakers convened on Nov. 10 for a special legislative session to begin the...
South Dakota lawmakers convened on Nov. 10 for a special legislative session to begin the formal process of investigating and considering the impeachment of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 3:28 PM MST
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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota lawmakers weighing impeachment of the state’s attorney general will start their investigation by hiring special legal counsel to guide their probe.

The House’s investigative committee on impeachment met for the first time Wednesday, beginning their dive into Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s conduct surrounding a fatal car crash last year.

During their first meeting, lawmakers reviewed state law on impeachment and what exactly their duties would consist of. But they held off on any further action until they could hire an attorney. The committee quickly adjourned after being told by their legal counsel that it would need to retain special legal counsel for guidance on specifics regarding impeachment, such as what an impeachable offense is and how the communication between the House and the Senate would be supposed to work.

This committee must ensure you report to the House,” said Justin Goetz, South Dakota Legislative Research Counsel’s Chief Research and Legal Analyst. “Should the committee determine that an article or articles of impeachment should be brought against Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, the committee will have the two fold task of proposing first what the article(s) should be, and second the manner in which the House of Representatives should manage its impeachment case.”

Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch confirmed that he does not have a time frame in mind when it comes to determining whether or not Ravnsborg’s impeachment should be considered by the full House.

Gosch will have the sole authority to appoint the special counsel.

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