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The private, racy emails that have S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford fighting for his marriage and his political life came not from the jilted ex-husband of Sanford’s lover, Maria Belen Chapur, but rather from an unidentified young Argentine man who allegedly had a brief affair with the Buenos Aires woman at the same time she was seeing Sanford, the New York Times is reporting.

Speculation originally centered on Sanford’s enemies in South Carolina as the source of the leaks, although sources told FITS Thursday that it was Chapur’s ex-husband in Argentina who sent them to The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper.

The State‘s governance editor, Leroy Chapman, said yesterday that he did not know who sent the emails.

Here’s an excerpt from the Times story, which quotes an anonymous “executive” in Argentina:

… (Chapur’s young lover) happened to see the e-mail messages being exchanged between the governor and Ms. Chapur, said the executive — who said he had direct knowledge of the situation — and hacked into her e-mail account to see the rest.

Infuriated, the man sent the messages to The State, the newspaper in South Carolina’s capital, Columbia.

When she found out, the executive said, Ms. Chapur immediately ended the relationship with the man, whose identity has not been disclosed.

Assuming the information is accurate and this young Argentinian man did send the emails, we still have no idea who tipped off The State to Sanford’s arrival at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta on Wednesday morning.

That’s when the myth that he was “hiking along the Appalachian Trail” officially exploded.

Could it be that the same individual was continuing to monitor Chapur’s email exchanges with Sanford?