December 16th, 2009
02:33 PM ET
8 months ago

South Carolina panel votes against impeaching Sanford

South Carolina panel votes against impeaching Sanford.
South Carolina panel votes against impeaching Sanford.

(CNN) - South Carolina lawmakers voted down a resolution Wednesday to impeach Mark Sanford, voting instead to formally rebuke the embattled governor for taking a secret trip to Argentina to see his mistress, and for the misuse of state airplanes.

The House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed a resolution to rebuke Sanford, saying the governor actions brought "ridicule, disgrace and shame" to South Carolina.

The panel agreed with a move last week by a special House subcommittee that called Sanford's behavior "reprehensible," "arrogant" and "indefensible" - but concluded that the Republican governor's actions did not rise to the constitutional level of impeachment.

The rebuke passed Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee moves to the full House and Senate, where no action is expected until next year.

"I'd like to thank the Committee for its work and deliberative approach today and throughout the process," Sanford said in a statement following the vote," adding he obviously agrees "with the Committee's reasonable decision to reject impeachment."


Sanford has been under intense scrutiny since June, when he left the country for five days to visit his Argentine mistress without informing his staff or the lieutenant governor of his whereabouts.

The two-term governor, who was once considered a rising star in the GOP, is prevented by law from running for re-election next year. Sanford has just over a year left in his final term in office. His wife Jenny filed for divorce last week, citing adultery.

–CNN's Peter Hamby and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. George

    Why would they impeach him? He is a republican. Had he been a dem, it would have been Bill Clinton all over again. He is a good old boy and good old boys stick together. As long as the rich stay rich, and the ignorant believe in them, they are ok.

    December 16, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Terry - Indiana

    Please pass the Kool Aid. We nominate Tiger Woods for Governor of South Carolina. At least the Panel Members can get free golf lessons. How many ways can you spell – BRIBE THE PANEL ?

    December 16, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Felonious Monk

    Seems like the "misuse of state airplanes" would be enough to impeach the guy. After all, airline fuel is expensive, pilots are not free.

    His wife won't even fire him, why should S.C.?

    American politics at its finest

    December 16, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. simp

    Another good ole boy in SC getting away with something totally unethical, should we be surprised? no they GOP's are always going to be a bunch of unethical bums and this cheater is a great example of it. SC should be ashamed and digusted that this man gets away with using their money to go meet his soul mate, digusting.

    December 16, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Chris - Denver

    Hah! So they just admitted that Bill Clinton should never have been impeached! I always suspected that was just a partisan witch-hunt!

    December 16, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. Marion/Alabama

    Where is the outrage about the real crooks the ones who steal from us Tax Payers,like Charlie Rangel,Chris Dodd,Barney Franks,Maxine Waters,Chuck Schumer,and Frank Raines....... Who cares if a governor had an affair that is S.C. States business and only concerns those who live in the state... I do not pay S.C. State taxes so I do not care,I guess an Affair is not an impeachable State offense.

    December 16, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. conservatives are useless

    what happen to moral values the republicans talk a good line of crap
    once a red neck always a red neck no matter what shirt your wear

    December 16, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. phoenix86

    I wonder if all those expressing shock and outrage at this we also supporting the impeachment of Bill Clinton, who was being impeached for perjury.

    I bet not. Most probably cannot see their own hypocracy, though it is evident to all others.

    December 16, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. Republicans is smart in the head area

    I'm certain that if Sanford was a Democrat they would feel the exact same way, right?

    December 16, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Dennis

    Notice that now that the "lost" Bush Administration e-mails have magically been "found", Dick Cheney is no where to be found?

    I wonder why?

    December 16, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Moderate Democrat

    A republican majority has voted that "Immoral behavior, being hypocritical and stealing from the people, is "OKEY DOKEY".

    Republicans: The most corrupt bunch of rejects ever to walk the earth.

    December 16, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. LacrosseMom

    Most people would have been fired for being AWOL from their job and using company funds to visit their lover!

    Sanford gets a pass! So much for Republican family values!

    December 16, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. kyle

    This has always been the problem with institutions policing themselves. In police departments you have the "blue code" which keeps you from saying anything bad about another police officer. The military policing itself is really a joke in and of itself. Wall Street won't police itself and sends attack lobbyists to Washington to make sure Washington doesn't do it either. No matter that the capitalist model we work within has failed because of their wildly speculative shenanigans. To ask legislators to police themselves is like asking the Cookie Monster to watch the cookie store while you are away. Now the legislators of South Carolina have proven that heterosexual adultery is a palatable offense.

    December 16, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. Christian Values

    Lying, Cheating, Abandoning your duty and adultery are ok by republicans. The next time you retards want to talk about morals, shove it up your back end, because you are obviously discussing a subject that you are PROVEN to be wrong on, based on this result.

    December 16, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Bob of Lompoc

    South Carolina Republican Politicians looking for their conscience and honor again. Can't find it. Never will.

    Among all the self administered insults, they are now soon to become not "The Party Of Lincoln", but "The Party Of Lieberman".

    When will they ever learn?

    As for Sanford: Saved his job and lost his family. Remember from the play West Side Story: "I just met a girl named Maria"? Well Dude, you "just lost a real woman, named Jenny".

    December 16, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    They should've fired him, they had enough grounds for doing so. it just goes to show "membership" has it's priviledges in the Good Ole' Boys' network.

    December 16, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. derrick

    Haha...

    If he was Tiger Woods the Governor...it would have been the biggest scandal in American history.

    Welcome to America

    December 16, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. he obviously agrees

    Mr. Sanford, you got very lucky, you acted like an idiot and they let you off

    December 16, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Alan from rural Illinois

    Interesting...too bad this logic was not used when the U.S. House abused the Consitituion by impeaching Pres. Clinton for something that did not involve misuse of government resources for personal gain as did this.

    I wish I could say the Neocons learned from the error of their ways...

    December 16, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    He should have been recalled.

    December 16, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  21. Pragmatic

    You won't hear from Faux News, the "family values" groups or Palin. Their high standards are reserved for Democrats. Real reason? The Lt. Governor is a really wild card and the GOP is playing it safe with the devil they know ... actually signed in relief that this affair involved a woman – not like old "wide stance" or Mark Foley & Congressional pages ....you know – "boys will be boys!" chuckle the republican leadership....

    December 16, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. Russ in Benton

    Wat to go Mark true love has prevailed .

    December 16, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Nick , California

    Where is the accountability????!!!! So he can ditch work to have an affair in Argentina, use the taxpayers money and not get fired!!??? The GOP is a joke! Family Values.. Ha! Moral and fiscal responsibility.. Ha!! What is happening to this country???

    December 16, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. www.usdebtclock.org

    Why would the GOP impeach Sanford? The GOP loves Sanford because he is a self-proclaimed good C-Street Christian, a valued member of "The Family" in Washington, DC, and a good mountain hiker. He is a good representative of South Carolina and the hypocritical wasteful spenders who claim to be conservative and yet waste millions on unnecessary state travel, junkets and "trade promotion". The GOP legislature continues to fund wasteful spending despite the hypocritical whining about Sanford's morals.

    December 16, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    Stupid is as stupid does ... South Carolina deserves whatever messes they get if they think their governor's actions aren't worthy of impeachment.

    Going AWOL on his state to hook up with his Argentinian squeeze ... if a Democrat pulled this crap, the GOP would be all over it.

    This is the fundamental problem with the GOP today: They've been taken over by hypocrites of all stripes, who don't give a rat's fanny about anything except staying in power.

    December 16, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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