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Embattled South Dakota attorney general gets bump from Trump at Texas rally

Jason Ravnsborg, facing an impeachment inquiry for his role in deadly crash, appeared at a Saturday rally for the former president in Texas.

Republican Jason Ravnsborg speaks after winning the South Dakota Attorney General race during the Republican Election Party at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown in Sioux Falls in this 2018 file photo.
Republican Jason Ravnsborg speaks after winning the South Dakota Attorney General race during the Republican Election Party at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown in Sioux Falls in this 2018 file photo.
Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic
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PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has made only sporadic public appearances over the last 18 months in South Dakota over scrutiny from his role in a deadly car-pedestrian crash.

But on Saturday, Jan. 29, in Conroe, Texas, Ravnsborg got a political jolt when former President Donald Trump called him out at a rally.

"Thank you for being here," Trump said to Ravnsborg, who attended the former president's rally, according to media reports. "They like you in Texas."

The shout-out from Trump comes amid heightened talk at the Statehouse of a scheme to pressure members of the committee to impeach Ravnsborg over the 2020 fatal car crash. Multiple committee members say they've been flooded with phone calls from South Dakota residents whose calls have been transferred to them by an Ohio-based call center.

While Gov. Kristi Noem has called on Ravnsborg to resign, she and her campaign team have denied knowledge of the scheme.

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On Monday, Jan. 31, the House Select impeachment committee meets again to continue deliberations on bringing any article of impeachment against Ravnsborg.

Earlier this month, two North Dakota detectives who compiled an investigation into Ravnsborg, at South Dakota's request, told the committee in a public hearing that they believe Ranvsborg knew he hit a pedestrian on Sept.12, 2020, west of Highmore.

In August, Ravnsborg pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges for crossing the white line and using a phone while driving, though his phone was locked at the time of the collision.

Ravnsborg is facing an intra-party challenge for his seat later this year from former AG Marty Jackley.

Christopher Vondracek covers South Dakota news for Forum News Service. Email him at cvondracek@forumcomm.com or follow him on Twitter at @ChrisVondracek.
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