Over the course of the last week, I met with the Rotary Club in Madison, spoke at the dedication of the new American Legion building in Arlington and met with other groups and individuals across the new district (Kingsbury, Lake, Miner and rural Brookings counties). The impeachment process surrounding the Attorney General continues to be the number one issue with folks across our district. I appreciate the questions and feedback and will continue to be 100% transparent about the process.
The Senate met on April 26, the earliest date allowed under the rules, to adopt a resolution to place itself into a Court of Impeachment. The Constitution requires a 20-day period before a trial can begin, but based on a goal of having 100% attendance in the Senate, the trial was set to start June 21. The Constitution also specifies the Lieutenant Governor, who also serves as President of the Senate, as the presiding officer.
We also adopted a resolution for the specific trial rules. As many of you have read, South Dakota has never had an impeachment trial, so the rules for that process needed to be drafted. We studied rules created by other states and adopted them for our process. The rules provide for a fair trial, and the process will be transparent and timely. You can review those rules and the file at the Legislative Research Council website which is sdlegislature.gov.
It is important to note that this is not a criminal or civil trial. To ensure a timely process, the Senate has instructed itself to review evidence submitted ahead of time. Any new information is to be submitted by June 1, and questions for either party are to be submitted by June 13.
The rules provide for the prosecution and the respondent to have an hour for opening statements, four hours for presenting witnesses and an hour for closing. The Attorney General has the option to testify, but if he chooses to do so, he will not be placed under any of those time limitations.
There are two articles for impeachment; one deals with crimes causing the death of Mr. Boever. The second article is in regard to malfeasance in office following the death. Each article will have a separate vote from the Senate, and the decision will be whether or not to sustain the article and remove Jason Ravnsborg from the office of Attorney General. If the article is sustained, a second vote will be whether Mr. Ravnsborg shall be disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit under the state. Each of these votes require two-thirds of the Senate to vote in favor in order to pass.
The Senate’s goal is to provide a transparent and timely process, and I believe in sharing as much information with you as possible via these articles, email or conversation. I value your input, so please continue to reach out with your comments and questions.
Thank you for allowing me to represent you and our future generations as a common-sense conservative, who believes in limited government, fiscal responsibility and protecting personal liberties. Please don’t hesitate to drop me a note at Casey.Crabtree@sdlegislature.gov or follow me on social media at Casey Crabtree for SD Senate.
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