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."