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Tryst or business? Lawmakers want answers on Sanford's 2008 trip

http://66.225.205.104/1207sanf.mp3

There's still no decision from the South Carolina lawmakers debating impeachment of Governor Mark Sanford. They spent about 90 minutes Monday pouring through emails and itineraries from a 2008 State trade trip to South America. Lawmakers now believe part of the trip was an abuse of power by the governor. WFAE's Julie Rose reports from Columbia. Governor Sanford's future in office now appears to hinge on two trips to Argentina, rather than just one. The legislative impeachment subcommittee has already said they think his secret five-day disappearance to see his Argentine mistress this past summer was potentially a dereliction of duty. Lawmakers now say Sanford may also have abused his power the previous summer when the Governor took a two-day side trip to Buenos Aires at the end of a state trade trip to Brazil. It was during that trip Sanford says he consummated his relationship with Maria Belen Chapur in Argentina. Sanford's attorney, Swati Patel told the committee the trip had legitimate business value. But she was unable to answer many of the committee's follow-up questions, including this from Representative Greg Delleney. "You don't know of any new business opportunities that came to south Carolina from Argentina as a result of this Argentina trip, do you?," Delleney asked. Patel anwersed: "I am not familiar with any. Again, you'll have to ask Commerce that question." Those outstanding questions led the committee to delay further debate until Wednesday. However, Representative Delleney now plans to add the second Argentina trip to his resolution calling for Sanford's impeachment. "It's just obvious that this trip was a personal trip and state business was thrown in as a cover," Delleny said. Governor Sanford has already reimbursed the state for about $3,000 in expenses related to the Argentina leg of the trade mission, but his attorneys say that was not an admission of guilt. They also point out an earlier investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division also found no illegal activity in relation to that trip. But the impeachment panel is unconvinced.