On Tuesday, the South Dakota House impeached state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg over a 2020 fatal crash.
On Monday he sent lawmakers a pair of letters urging them to vote against impeachment.
“In a few hours, your vote will set a precedent for years to come,” Ravnsborg said in the first of two letters sent Monday night and obtained by the Argus Leader. “No state has ever impeached an elected official for a traffic accident.”
The South Dakota Legislature had never investigated impeachment for an elected official.
The special investigative committee’s report argued that Ravnsborg’s actions in the crash were unrelated to his official duties.
Ravnsborg’s letter also accused Republican Gov. Kristi Noem of interfering in the investigation and of supporting impeachment because of the attorney general’s investigations into her behavior. A second letter from Ravnsborg’s spokesman delved into “evidence, allegations and misconceptions,” about the case.
In its 36-31 vote, the House rejected the recommendation of a GOP-backed majority report from a special investigative committee and sided with Noem, who has argued that Ravnsborg lied to investigators. Democrats also had pushed for impeachment, arguing that he was not “forthcoming” to law enforcement officers and had abused the power of his office.
But some Republicans raised doubts about the crash reconstruction and where Boever was when he was hit. Ravnsborg, who has said little about the crash, denied being untruthful in a brief interview in February.
Ravnsborg will be removed from office during the historic Senate trial, it will take a two-thirds majority to convict on the impeachment charges