Politics & Government

S.C. House panel begins weighing impeachment for Sanford

A group of House lawmakers wants sworn statements from the governor's staff and others, detailing the events leading up to Gov. Mark Sanford's five-day disappearance in June.

Those details, they say, will help determine whether Sanford should be impeached for his secret trip to visit his lover in Argentina.

Tuesday, the seven House members met for the first time to consider a resolution to try the embattled, two-term governor. They hope to wrap up their work by Christmas and send a recommendation on impeachment to the full Judiciary Committee.

The committee also voted to delve into 37 charges made by the State Ethics Commission, including claims Sanford used campaign cash and state aircraft for personal reasons.

Under the state Constitution, Sanford must be guilty of a serious crime or other serious misconduct to be impeached.

Sanford's attorneys have said repeatedly that the governor's disappearance does not rise to the level of impeachment nor do the ethics charges, which they have deemed "minor" and "technical."

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