Speaker Spencer Gosch proposes impeachment plan
PIERRE, S.D. - Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch (R-Glenham) is introducing his plan to move forward with the impeachment of South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
Gosch says that he intends to amend HCR 7001, the articles of impeachment, in the House State Affairs committee. His amendment would create a select committee of about ten members of the State House who would be tasked with overseeing impeachment in the committee. The committee would include one Democrat.
The select committee would have the ability to administer oaths, examine records, summon witnesses by way of subpoena, and to review all evidence related to the impeachment inquiry.
“This is clearly an unprecedented situation in South Dakota,” Gosch said. “It is crucial that we create an open, transparent, and fair process for all parties involved. I intend to amend HCR 7001 with a workable option to proceed with what was originally proposed, while allowing all parties involved to evaluate the subject at hand.”
Similarly to any other piece of amended legislation, Gosch’s amendment would have to garner the support of a majority of the legislators on the House State Affairs committee, and then a majority of the members-elect in the House.
In regards to a timeline for impeachment, Gosch said that he is setting a soft deadline of a verdict on the impeachment trial of “veto day,” March 29th. However, he says that all details are still subject to change.
Gosch says that he would prefer for the legislature to focus on its regularly scheduled business before it dives into an unprecedented impeachment trial.
Ravnsborg is the first constitutional officer in South Dakota state history to face removal from office by way of impeachment. At this point in time, a spokesperson for Ravnsborg has not provided a comment on the impeachment charges, but only said that Ravnsborg does not intend to resign.