Now that’s harsh…
Mark Sanford appeared so unhinged during his now-legendary June press conference in which he admitted to an affair with an Argentine woman that the federal government temporarily yanked his security clearance.
That’s according to documents obtained through a public records request by the Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina.
The paper reports:
In a certified letter to Sanford dated July 1, Katherine Janosek, chief of the Homeland Security Personnel Security Division, wrote that the “Office of Security has suspended your access to classified information.”
She explained that the “suspension is based on recent actions and statements by you that raise questions about your judgment, lack of candor, reliability, trustworthiness and ability to protect classified information.”
Janosek also sent a memo to Maj. Scott W. Prill, the State Law Enforcement Division’s Homeland Security director, advising him of the suspension. “This action was taken due to recently reported information to this office,” the memo said. “… Please ensure that Governor Sanford does not have access to any classified information until further notice.”
It looks like the Homeland Security department then had second thoughts. A week later,
it told Sanford’s office that the clearance had been reinstated, saying the suspension “was made in error.”
A Sanford spokesman said that the suspension “didn’t affect on a practical level the governor’s ability to lead or engage in day-to-day governing.”
The Savannah River Site, which plays a role in managing the U.S. nuclear stockpile, is in South Carolina.
Sanford’s June 24 press conference followed days of frenzied speculation as to his whereabouts. He left the country for 5 days while falsely telling his staff he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, and did not transfer power to the lieutenant governor.