In a sudden shift in his position on the scandal surrounding S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford, South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster is now asking S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to investigate “all Sanford travel records in light of new revelations,” according to a one-sentence statement released by his office this afternoon.
“In light of the governor’s disclosure of additional travel today, I have requested that SLED conduct a preliminary review of all Governor Sanford’s travel records to determine if any laws have been broken or any state funds misused,” McMaster’s one-sentence statement reads.
SLED has previously expressed little interest in launching a criminal investigation against Sanford, saying his accusers have not presented sufficient evidence that a crime took place.
“If there’s something criminal there we’re going to pursue it, but right now we don’t have anything that looks criminal,” SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd told FITS last week. “Unless they uncover something else there’s no way I could actually launch a criminal investigation, let alone bring charges.”
Lloyd’s comments were obviously issued prior to Sanford’s admission today that he saw Belen Chapur five times, not four times – as referenced in his meandering press conference last week.
It is unclear whether or not McMaster’s change in position was prompted by Sanford’s admission today that he saw his Argentine lover, Maria Belen Chapur, more times than he originally admitted – or something else.
For example, Palmetto State politicos are already speculating that a deal has been cut between S.C. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and McMaster involving the 2010 governor’s race.
Bauer announced yesterday that he would not seek the governor’s office in 2010 if Sanford resigned.