COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – The Attorney General of South Carolina on Tuesday asked the state law enforcement division to review Gov. Mark Sanford's travel records now that he has admitted to more visits with his mistress than previously disclosed.
"In light of the governor's disclosure of additional travel today, I have requested that SLED conduct a preliminary review of all Governor Sanford's travel records to determine if any laws have been broken or any state funds misused," Attorney General Henry McMaster said in a statement.
After returning from a secret trip to Argentina unknown to his staff or wife last week, Sanford acknowledged having an extramarital affair, and said that he had seen his mistress three times in the past year. But he told The Associated Press on Tuesday he had met with Maria Belen Chapur seven times, including five visits in the past 12 months.
The review by law enforcement officials would be the first formal probe into whether Sanford abused his power while carrying on a year-long affair with an Argentine woman.
McMaster, a Republican, has so far been reluctant to move forward with calls for an investigation into Sanford, saying that he is wary of mixing legal matters with political score-settling from longtime Sanford opponents.
McMaster is also running for governor next year. His opponents say that his hesitancy to investigate Sanford is meant to prevent a Sanford resignation, which would elevate Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer to the top office. Bauer, also mulling a run at the governor's mansion, would then be able to run as an incumbent in next year's race.
Sanford said in a statement Tuesday that he's "pleased that SLED will look into this matter."
"There's been a lot of speculation and innuendo on whether or not public moneys were used to advance my admitted unfaithfulness. To be very clear:no public money was ever used in connection with this."
McMaster is running for governor himself while also directing the investigation into Sanford? This is a blatant conflict of interest by a sleezy politician who abuses his law enforcement authority for political purposes. Hating Sanford because he fell in love is not a winning campaign platform, it is just hypocritical.
Are you trying to tell me that they are willing to look the other way in regards tp Sanfords' dereliction of duty because they think it would be unfair for Bauer to run in 2010 as an incumbent? Isn't Bauer the Lt. Gov., put there as the 'standby Gov." so to speak, in the event the Gov. screwed up and had to be removed from office? Folks, the Gov. has screwed-up ( no pun intended!).
I thought Gov. Sanford did exactly what the S.C. Supreme Court ordered: traveled to Argentina to receive a stimulus package after a stiff fight.
This hypocrite should step down because it is the "ethical" thing to do based on his own supposedly "high" moral standards. It's bad enough that he rejected the stimulus money for political reasons and turned a blind eye toward the people who are struggling financially in his state. Now he thinks it's okay to disappear without telling anyone while he fools around with his mistress in another country, traveling on the taxpayers' dime. Pathetic in every regard.
Oh and I'm sure that" be a fair assessment coming from a fellow Republican. Why waste the time and MONEY reviewing? We already know the outcome. Perhaps an independent prosecutor like a Ken Star equivalent. Just that the Democrats get to pick him or her this time to rake Sanford over the coals like HE did to Clinton. At least Clinton did abandon his job for 5 days, or spend TAXPAYERS $$ to travel.
I'm glad South Carolina is so Republican.
Now they can just destroy each other although the right wing wack jobs will probably find a way to blame Obama.
If he spent state money illegitimately (like Rudy Giuliani), that's suitable to investigate. But the adultery? That's between the Sanfords (oh, and Chapur).
After being pressured by the Democrats in the S.C. legislature!
Oh what a tangled web we weave..............
Hang in there Gov. Mark Sanford you are a Republican don't worry this to shell past.
It's not the crime, it's the cover-up! Here we go....
I am sure this is like the fox guarding the chicken house.
Let's bring back Ken Star and spend millions of dollars checking Governor Sanford sex life. The Republican Party would have to pick up the expenses.
This man needs to resign if he know what is good for him.
President Obama gets reviewed everyday republicans trying to find something to blame him for or finding a reason to vote no to everything that the president proposes.
There will be no "abuse of funds" found. You can bet on that. This is politics at its worst, and this is South Carolina at its best...LOL
WHAT took the Attorney General so long? This should have happened last week.
Any track record the man has is negated by his current behavior... he has proven his mettle... and it is without substance to continue as a viable political personage! It is not so much the affair as it is the soul mate BS along with the AWOL... and NOW he is TRYING to fall back in love with his wife..... Bless her heart.... I would tell him not to bother! He cannot control his personal impulses.. .no one takes off for 5 days without word who cares about his marriage or worse, his job. And the job part is the part that says he cannot govern! When he was elected he promised to govern for the People! He didn't....
This is turning into a 'Palin-isk' type of sideshow............
Man, is the entire state run by republicans? And is everyone afraid of this LT gov?
BTW, I think it's only fair to investigate to see if any taxpayer money was used for his trips.
I understand they are recounting the votes in Iran also. What is the use.
Wonder if we can get North Korea to aim for SC instead of HI. Just a thought.
From 30,000 feet?
AWOL. Absent With Out Leave
He should resign.
Investigate all the way back to 2001. That's how long the fiasco has been going on. Send him a bill in the mail and send a courtesy copy to all the S.C. residents.
This should have been done when it was first discovered. I'm so tired of Republican corruption.