South Dakota AG Jason Ravsnborg was reading Biden conspiracies when he hit man he later claimed was a deer

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James Crump
·4 min read
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<p>Jason Ravnsborg speaks in Sioux Falls, SD Ravnsborg, South Dakota’s Republican attorney general, has been charged with misdemeanour careless driving after he struck and killed a man with his car, authorities said Thursday 18 February 2021</p> ((Associated Press))

Jason Ravnsborg speaks in Sioux Falls, SD Ravnsborg, South Dakota’s Republican attorney general, has been charged with misdemeanour careless driving after he struck and killed a man with his car, authorities said Thursday 18 February 2021

((Associated Press))

South Dakota attorney general Jason Ravsnborg has admitted to reading a conspiracy theory about President Joe Biden moments before he fatally hit a man with his car.

During a filmed interview on Tuesday, investigators informed Mr Ravsnborg that they had examined his phone records and found that he logged into his email account at 10.20pm on 12 September 2020, just 10 minutes before he drove into and killed the 55-year-old Joseph Boever.

The investigators said that the disgraced attorney general then visited the Real Clear Politics website before reading an article about Mr Biden written by the former editor of The Washington Times, John Solomon, around a minute before the crash.

In recent years Mr Solomon has been accused of advancing conspiracy theories that have focused on alleged wrongdoing by the President and his son Hunter Biden, relating to his position on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

There is no evidence to support claims of corruption by Mr Biden or his son, but former President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticised Hunter and alleged that he used his father’s position for monetary gain.

Mr Trump was impeached by House Democrats in 2019 for threatening to withhold military aid to Ukraine, if the country did not investigate Hunter’s employment at the energy company. He was cleared by GOP allies in the Senate.

Media Matters researcher Timothy Johnson reported on Thursday that the article being read by Mr Ravsnborg prior to the crash was a piece by Mr Solomon published on Just the News focusing on unsubstantiated claims surrounding the then Democratic presidential candidate and his son.

“You were on that up to about, we’re going to estimate, up to about a minute before the accident, you were on that. Do you remember any of these?” the investigators asked the attorney general in reference to the article during the interview on Tuesday.

“Well, I remember looking at it,” Mr Ravnsborg told the investigators, adding: “but that’s when I set my phone down prior to [the accident].”

Calls for Mr Ravnsborg’s resignation have increased this week after investigators found the glasses of Mr Boever in his vehicle. He claims he thought he drove into a deer and didn’t know it was a pedestrian until the next morning.

Mr Ravnsborg was charged with three misdemeanor counts last week after the accident leading to the death of Mr Boever.

New evidence was released on Tuesday night, with investigators now saying that Mr Boever was hit with such force that his face came through the windshield of Mr Ravnsborg’s vehicle.

“I did not see those glasses until you showed them to me,” Mr Ravnsborg claimed in the interview. “The only way for them to get there is through the windshield,” the law enforcement official responded to him, adding: “His face was in your windshield, Jason. Think about that.”

South Dakota lawmakers have now started an effort to remove Mr Ravnsborg from office. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem called for his resignation Tuesday, but so far Mr Ravnsborg has resisted.

Two articles of impeachment were filed Tuesday against the South Dakota attorney general, according to The Washington Post.

Mr Ravnsborg spokesman Mike Deaver told The Argus Leader that he will not resign despite the impeachment push.

Mr Deaver said: “At no time has this issue impeded his ability to do the work of the office. Instead, he has handled some of the largest settlements and legislative issues the state has ever been through.”

The articles were co-sponsored by the leaders of the two parties in the South Dakota House. Republican Majority Leader Kent Peterson said: “This isn’t about party or politics. It’s about doing the right thing for South Dakota.

“We must hold our elected leaders to a high standard. In this case, the Attorney General has failed to meet that standard, and we owe it to the people to bring these articles.”

Democratic Minority Leader Jamie Smith added: “The attorney general has lost the confidence of the people of South Dakota, and he should be removed from office for the betterment of the state.”

The Independent has contacted Mr Ravnsborg for comment.

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