It looks like he has escaped impeachment for a bunch of possible issued related to the scandal, but South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has just been clobbered with some major consquences for his admitted affair with a lover in Argentina: his wife Jenny is filing for divorce.
“I am now filing for divorce,” she said in a statement. “This came after many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation, yet I am still dedicated to keeping the process that lies ahead peaceful for our family.”
Sanford moved out of the South Carolina governor’s mansion with the couple’s four children in August.
“I remain thankful to so many across this state and nation for their words of encouragement and prayers during this difficult time,” she added. “Please know the boys and I are doing well and are blessed with the incredible support of friends and family and bolstered by our faith and the unfailing love of our God above.”
And so the troubles mount for a politico who many once considered Presidential material. The scuttlebut among the keepers of the conventional widsom had been that Sanford would be a strong, new face prospect in the 2012 race for the GOP nomination. Which was the case until he vanished while he was supposedly hiking up a mountain.
It turned out that he was indeed exercising, but not by walking and he wasn’t going up a mountain but in Argentina.
Earlier this week, he had beenthe focus of impeachment move:
Lawmakers debating whether to impeach South Carolina’s governor challenged claims Monday that a 2008 taxpayer-funded trip where he saw his Argentine mistress was legitimate state business.
After confessing the affair in June, Gov. Mark Sanford reimbursed the state for $3,300 in travel expense tied to the Buenos Aires trip a year earlier.
”It’s just obvious that this trip was a personal trip and state business was kind of thrown in as a cover,” state Rep. Greg Delleney said during a fourth day of impeachment hearings.
Delleney, R-Chester, wrote the impeachment resolution that says the married Sanford was derelict in his duties when he abandoned the state in June of this year to secretly spend five days with mistress Maria Belen Chapur. The affair became public when he disappeared and his staff said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Sanford’s chief counsel, Swati Patel, argued that the 2008 trip was proposed first by the state Department of Commerce, not Sanford.
That wasn’t enough to convince House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Harrison.
”You can make mistakes by reading between the lines, but it does appear to me it’s more likely that the governor set up the Argentina trip in 2008 for reasons other than economic development,” Harrison, R-Columbia, said.
Harrison’s subcommittee could decide as early as Wednesday whether to move forward with impeachment, approve a censure resolution condemning Sanford’s actions or do nothing at all.
The impeachment resolution says Sanford left no one in charge while he ”directed members of his staff in a manner that caused them to deceive and mislead the public officials” about where he was.s in his state…
But, in the end, S.C. House lawmakers dropped a bid to boot him out of office.
So now his wife has moved to impeach their marriage.
SOME EARLIER POSTS ON BLOGS OF RELATED INTEREST:
—Jenny Sanford is Moving On: ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’
—Sources: Governor Refuses To Sign Settlement With First Lady
—My Husband Went to Argentina, and All I Got Was This Dumb Divorce
—Jenny Sanford Takes Infidelity, Makes Lemonade
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NOTE: This post has been updated and revised from the original posting.
UPDATE: MSNBC reports the news:
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Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.