The leadership of the South Carolina House and the impeachment subcommittee deny the Lt. Governor’s assertion that the panel is in effect just going through the motions concerning their consideration of Governor Sanford’s impeachment.
“This subcommittee is going through this process effectively and efficiently, and making sure that this issue is dealt with thoroughly,” said House Speaker Bobby Harrell. “But they are not wasting time. They are dealing with this information so we can get this behind us. Anyone suggesting anything to the contrary is just plain wrong.”
Lt. Governor Andre Bauer said that the impeachment process now before the House subcommittee is basically a mirage that makes you think something is happening. He called for state lawmakers–and the governor–to just get back to work on other things like dealing with unemployment.
Before Tuesday’s impeachment hearing, Harrell said that the subcommittee is making an effort to address the matter in a timely manner so that state lawmakers will be fully prepared to begin working on other issues beginning in January, essential issues like the state budget. Harrell charged the seven House members on the subcommittee to be thorough, unyielding and fair, and to set examples for future generations of how lawmakers can rise to any task, above political or personal differences.
The Speaker’s office spokesman Greg Foster says the report only recently became public. It was released by the Ethics Commission. Foster says he doesn’t know how someone can claim that any conclusions have been reached on what the committee will do. He asserts that the panel members are not creating a mirage, but working very seriously on an issue that the current generation has never seen.
Bauer, who is running for governor, says he is skeptical that the sessions will result in impeachment. Impeachment panel chairman Jim Harrison responds that no one really knows what the consensus has been, and he continues the mission of his subcommittee to thoroughly consider the charges against the governor.
“I think many people in the House have opinions on what they have heard in the press on whether the Governor’s actions rise to the level of serious crime or serious misconduct,” said Harrison, “and those people are free to speak. But I don’t believe anyone has taken a vote of this subcommittee, or the full Judiciary Committee or the full House to see if the votes are there to impeach.”
Bauer has been mentioned by the impeachment panel, since he would have been in charge while Sanford visited his mistress in Argentina. The House impeachment panel meets Thursday.