The Judiciary Committee Chairman of the South Carolina House says a special committee will consider the possible impeachment of Gov. Sanford for the first time next week. Chairman Jim Harrison says he’ll gather a seven-member panel Tuesday. The committee’s findings will go on to the full Judiciary Committee by Christmas.
Greenville Senator David Thomas,whose subcommittee first investigated Sanford’s travel records this past summer, says that information, which included documents put forth by Sanford himself, was turned over to the Ethics Commission, by the request of commission executives.
Thomas says Harrison’s committee will propel the issue forward, where Thomas says it should be.
“And that is the house should undertake an investigation itself, this should be out in the open perfectly transparent to the public and if the Governor comes out smelling like roses that’s fine, if he doesn’t then that’s just going to have to be what happens and he goes before the Senate for final judication. But it doesn’t get drawn out all the way into April-May. That’s what I have hopes of, that this gets taken care of quickly and decisively no later than early January at the very latest.”
Harrison says one focus of the panel will be whether Sanford was neglectful when he left he state for five days in June without telling staff where he was going.
Thomas points out that Chairman Harrison is calling his first meeting even before state lawmakers return to Columbia in January.
“Clearly Representative Chairman Harrison has decided to move expeditiously here, and a failure to move expeditiously by the House means that it never gets taken up. This means it becomes a political football frankly going to be used by the Democrats during the general election.”
Thomas says the issue must be dealt with quickly, one way or the other.
“And the public in South Carolina will have to listen to commercials going nonstop a full nine-ten months from now about the lack of action the Republicans took. So hopefully this is going to stop all that kind of political shenanigans and we’ll deal with the issue one way or the other. The public is sick and tired of this and they want a decisive conclusion to it,” he said.