Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg will not testify at the impeachment trial

PIERRE, S.D.(Argus Leader)- South Dakota’s top law enforcement officer is not expected to take the stand in his own impeachment trial.

The defense team for Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, who earlier this year became the first constitutional officer in state history to be impeached in the South Dakota State House for conduct related to a 2020 fatal crash, did not submit a list of witnesses ahead a Wednesday deadline, Senate President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck told the Argus Leader.

The development indicates Mike Butler, the Sioux Falls attorney retained by the 46-year-old Republican, will rely on oral arguments and cross examination to make the case that Ravnsborg should not be forced out of office.

Impeachment trial rules adopted in April by the Senate required both the defense and the Senate’s hired prosecutor, Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo, to notify the Senate by Wednesday of witnesses each intends to call during the two-day trail on June 21 and 22.

The prosecution intends to call to the stand crash investigators as well as former Division of Criminal Investigation agents who worked under Ravnsborg, according to a witness list Vargo submitted to the Senate this week.

Included on the prosecution list are:

  • John Daily, Jackson Hole Scientific Investigations
  • John Berndt, South Dakota state trooper
  • Kevin Kinney, South Dakota state trooper
  • Cassidy Halseth, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation
  • Brent Gromer, retired DCI agent
  • Tyler Neuharth, retired DCI agent
  • Joe Arenz, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation
  • Arnie Rummel, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation