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Sanford Considering Resignation, May be Impeached

Apparently Gov Mark Sanford is being held back from resigning by advisers.

People close to the governor say Mr. Sanford was leaning toward resigning before the news conference but was persuaded by aides and friends who urged him not to act rashly. Mr. Sanford spent several hours Thursday at his Sullivan's Island beach house near Charleston, S.C., with his four sons and wife, with whom he has said he hopes to reconcile. He returned to Columbia, the state capital, Thursday evening.

The same article fleshes out a few more details on Sanford's use of taxpayer money on his first Argentina trip.

Earlier Thursday, a spokeswoman for the South Carolina Department of Commerce confirmed that Mr. Sanford instructed state officials to extend a taxpayer-funded mission to Brazil a year ago to include a trip to Buenos Aires at the time his relationship with a woman who lived there was becoming romantic. Mr. Sanford also met with a half-dozen officials and executives while there. The department estimated that more than $11,000 in state funds were spent to cover the cost of Mr. Sanford and another state employee to travel to Argentina.

There's no indication that taxpayer funds were used for last week's trip.

There is however an indication from some of Sanford's South Carolina colleagues that his use of taxpayer funds may be grounds for impeachment:

Some prominent legislators and local commentators said the use of state funds for a trip during which the affair began could be grounds for impeachment. Under South Carolina law, state officials are prohibited from using taxpayer dollars for personal gain.

Republican State Sen. Larry A. Martin, a frequent ally of Mr. Sanford's, said it is "troublesome" if the governor requested the trip, even if he repays the cost. "I think he's bought himself another set of problems," he said. Mr. Martin said he believes the governor will resign if he thinks his Argentina leg of the trip violates state ethics guidelines or law. "This is my gut reaction on this, if he believes he is being viewed in having engaged in that type of unethical behavior and being held to account for it, I think he would step down," Mr. Martin said.

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