Just in time for the 2012 presidential contest, The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., has this:
S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster has cleared Gov. Mark Sanford of any criminal conduct for two trips to South America to meet his Argentine lover and, also, his use of state aircraft, upgraded airfare and campaign money.
The Attorney General’s office conducted a five-month investigation of Sanford, which included new interviews Sanford’s staff, Commerce Department officials, a Department of Natural Resources pilot and an attorney with the Republican Governors Association. The investigation followed a S.C. State Ethics Commission probe that resulted in 37 civil charges against the govenor.
Here’s the eyebrow-raiser:
McMaster’s decision to conduct the investigation has been questioned by legal scholars and others who believed his own canidadacy for governor represented a conflict of interest. At the time Sanford’s affair first broke, McMaster staffers made public comments urging Republicans not to oust the governor and allow Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer to assume the governorship.
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