State Senator Glenn of Charleston has sent a letter to Greenville Senator David Thomas, whose budget subcomittee is investigating Governor Mark Sanford’s trips, asking him to proceed cautiously. McConnel says any investipation could interfere with any possible impeachment process, which would begin in the House and could conclude with a trial in the Senate.
Governor Sanford has said that the plane trip investigation is just politics. Thomas responds. “I’m just fufilling my responsibility as chairman of the subcommittee. The Governor can throw mud if he wants to. I’m just trying to come up with accurate information. And the information will end up with House members, who will make whatever decision they want.”
State Attorney General Hery McMaster asked the state Ethics Commission to investigate Sanford’s trips. So is more than one of those investigations unnessesary? Thomas says they cover different areas.
For example, Thomas says one question will be whether the Argentine leg of Sanford’s business trip to Brazil was motivated by a trip to see his friend there. “If he went to Argentina and then paid the money back if it was just to see the girlfriend, is that a question for the Ethics Commission? Maybe not. But it certainly raises the question that some action should be taken by the legislature.”
Some lawmakers say they’re concerned the Ethics Commission isn’t transparent enough. Senator Thomas says the Commission generally conducts investigations behind closed doors. “When they close the door, you’re not going to see what’s going on. But in my Finance Subcommittee I’m trying to be as transparent as possible.”