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By FITSNews || At the heart of our founding editor’s preemptive admission of an “inappropriate physical relationship” with Republican gubernatorial front-runner Nikki Haley on Monday was the contention that forces were targeting him and a news story about the affair was imminent.

Was this true, though?

Take a look for yourself at the chronology below, which features Wes Donehue (a supporter of Gresham Barrett), Jim Davenport (a reporter with the Associated Press), Tim Pearson (Nikki Haley’s campaign manager) and of course, Will Folks.

Rep. Haley herself even makes a brief appearance in the exchanges (we’ll have more from her soon), calling Folks the Monday after Davenport began making inquiries on the subject – ostensibly to find out what he was planning on saying.  Sic responded to Haley with a text message half an hour later saying that he planned on “denying that I said anything to anyone” and “refusing to dignify politically-motivated rumors with a response.”

Gradually, though, you can see escalation of the situation that led to his decision to admit the affair.

We’ll let you decide for yourself whether Folks’ fears were well-founded, but the narrative does include several items that could become problematic for the Haley campaign – particularly as our founding editor is in the process of “lawyering up.”  For example, in one text message Pearson encourages Folks to deny the affair rumors, later saying that if “we keep this under wraps and (Haley) is going to win.”

“Keep this under wraps?”

That’s curious wording – especially from one of individuals Haley is alleged to have told about her relationship with Folks.

Toward the end of the exchange, there’s also a reference to the fact that Person would be “unable to talk” about the rumor because he would be “in the car” with the Haleys (i.e. the husband still doesn’t know).

Also of interest in the exchanges? Barrett supporter Donehue references the fact that Haley has told multiple people about the affair – including her former campaign advisor B.J. Boling (who works for Barrett).

There’s also a curious remark to Pearson from our founding editor in which he says “Nikki knows about the picture from last year.”

Wait … picture?

All in all, it’s an interesting look at the “storm before the storm” – the exchanges that precipitated Sic Willie’s earth-moving admission Monday.

Finally, at a minimum, the exchanges do validate yet another one of our founding editor’s initial claims – that he was keeping the Haley campaign in the loop regarding the intelligence he was getting and calls from reporters that he was fielding about the affair.

Clearly, based on these messages, that was true.

Enjoy … (and we promise Nikki will play a more prominent role in future updates) …

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 13, 2010 2:55 PM

I just don’t know who has told more people, you or Nikki.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 13, 2010 3:21 PM

I am getting a lot of buzz about the me/nikki rumor today. Word is donehue is behind it.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 13, 2010 3:26 PM

I am too. Free times apparently called some legislators. Assuming it’s hutchins.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 13, 2010 3:29 PM

Can you fuck donehue up?

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 13, 2010 5:01 PM

Here my promise to you, man to man. If you tell me that a story will fuck up your marriage, I’ll do everything in my power to kill it.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 13, 2010 5:33 PM

Sorry – took longer than I thought. What are you hearing?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 13, 2010 5:54 PM

Free times

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 10:20 AM

We need to talk.

—— SMS ——
From Will Folks
To: Wes Donehue
Sent: May 14, 2010 10:24 AM

You’ve already rolled the dice.

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 10:25 AM

Actually, I haven’t.

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 10:36 AM

Now, I don’t give a fuck of you believe me or not. Your the one who screwed her. You’re the one who bragged about it. She’s the one who told BJ. Yall point fingers at your own damn selves and leave me the fuck out of it.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 11:10 AM

All good?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 14, 2010 11:12 AM

He seems to be backing down, yeah. Dunno if that kills it or what.

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 11:50 AM

I’m going to try to kill it. You need to get BJ to back down. Nothing good will come of this getting out. I’ve already helped bust up one family. No need to take down another one.

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 12:28 PM

I didn’t start this. I just told too many people that it was happening.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:05 PM

Tks for your help this am.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:11 PM
Subject: Sure.

Sure. I still think he ends up running something

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:12 PM

Really … Interesting.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:20 PM

Word I hear is that wes is shopping an affidavit

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:21 PM

Ah. My initial thought is if it aint from you or nh then its a tough sell

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 14, 2010 1:40 PM

Mine too … But …

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 2:39 PM

Hearing hutchens will be at statehouse and trying to ask nh the question. Just a heads up if you’re there.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 14, 2010 2:42 PM

Gotcha

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 4:22 PM

I think it’s stopped.

—— SMS ——

From: Jim Davenport
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:31 PM

What is this stuff about ur having an affair with Nikki Haley?
Jim Davenport-AP_ 803-917-9562

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Jim Davenport
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:32 PM

?

—— SMS ——
From: Jim Davenport
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:33 PM

Call. Talk.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Jim Davenport
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:39 PM

Can’t talk right now. You are not writing on this are you?

—— SMS ——
From: Jim Davenport
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:40 PM

Supposedly someone is. Just chasing tip.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 14, 2010 7:37 PM

Davenport is texting me asking about this now. WTF? Did something happen at Palin event?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 15, 2010 11:58 AM

Davenport calling again.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 15, 2010 2:10 PM

Ok. Keep me posted.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 15, 2010 2:20 PM

What you thinking?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 15, 2010 2:48 PM

His mssg said “you know why I am calling”

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 15, 2010 2:57 PM

I think we both deny it. I think an affadavit is something we can beat down. Legally and politically.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 15, 2010 2:58 PM

I’m telling you man, we keep this under wraps and nh is going to win.

——-Missed Call———–
Date: 5/17/2010 1:13p
Duration: 0:00
From: Nikki Haley

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 17, 2010 1:41 PM

I talked to oconnor. Feel a little better abt things. Will call later.

—— SMS ——
From Will Folks
To: Nikki Haley
Sent: May 17, 2010 2:43 PM

FYI … I’m denying any report that I said anything to anyone and refusing to dignify politically-motivated rumors with a response.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 18, 2010 1:05 PM

Barrett source says “beware tonight’s debate” to me.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 18, 2010 1:06 PM

Hmm. What do u think that means?

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 18, 2010 1:07 PM

No way barrett brings something up himself. That’s insane.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 18, 2010 1:08 PM

I don’t know what it means. Once again donehue reported to be the instigator

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 18, 2010 1:08 PM

Mother fucker.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 18, 2010 1:10 PM

Moderator is judi gatson. She won’t do anything to hurt Nikki.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 18, 2010 1:13 PM

Davenport stop calling you?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 18, 2010 1:15 PM

Yes. Hasn’t called since sunday.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 18, 2010 1:16 PM

Cool. We’ll keep truckin.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 19, 2010 8:03 AM

Nothing in the FT

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 19, 2010 8:04 AM

Yup. Saw that this AM. WHEW!

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 20, 2010 4:08 PM

Howre things?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 20, 2010 4:29 PM

Fucking nuts. People saying davenport story is imminent. I am honestly losing my mind a little.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 20, 2010 4:31 PM

I’m hearing buzz abt it too. But I don’t think he has anything. He hasn’t called you recently?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 20, 2010 4:32 PM

He has not.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 20, 2010 4:32 PM

What did your lawyers say?

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 20, 2010 4:34 PM

I think right now they’re just trying to create a shitload of buzz.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 20, 2010 4:44 PM

I just talked to jim abt polling. No mention of it. Story aint that imminent. Can relax for today.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 20, 2010 7:29 PM

I hear ya.

Hang in there. We are gonna win this thing man.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 20, 2010 7:32 PM

I believe it. I don’t even think this breaking (under these circumstances) would stop her.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 20, 2010 7:48 PM

Sometimes people get it right.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 21, 2010 6:55 AM

My sources indicate Hutchins is running next week (possibly cover) and Davenport is trying to beat him to the punch.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 21, 2010 6:55 AM

Ok. Tks.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 21, 2010 6:57 AM

How much do you believe that source?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 21, 2010 7:19 AM

I don’t know what to believe at this point

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 21, 2010 7:23 AM

Also I am a little disturbed by the anonymous threats about releasing “proof” within 48 hrs

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 21, 2010 7:40 AM

What anonymous threats?

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 21, 2010 7:49 AM

Comments on FITS. Consistent w intel I am getting regarding wesley working it still

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 21, 2010 8:01 AM

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Anonymous comments aren’t shit. They have been digging on this for a year.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 21, 2010 8:07 AM

I am not sweating the comment. I am sweating it being consistent w what I am hearing regarding the barrett people.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 21, 2010 8:10 AM

I know desperation is the mother of all invention – but I feel like whatever they come up with will be manufactured – and transparently so.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 21, 2010 2:46 PM

Sources telling me wes is bragging about a pciture.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 21, 2010 2:48 PM

I dunno man. I think they’re just trying to get someone to jump. This is like the 4th diff kind of evidence he’s claimed to have.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 21, 2010 2:48 PM

If he has a pic its very new … I just don’t buy it.

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 21, 2010 3:30 PM

If you’re calling about Haley, don’t. If I wanted her gone I would have already done it.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Wes Donehue
Sent: May 21, 2010 3:31 PM

Dude I am just trying to act in a way that will protect my family

—— SMS ——
From: Wes Donehue
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 21, 2010 3:36 PM

Your family and Nikkis kids are the ONLY reason I haven’t acted. It sure as fuck ain’t the threats.

—— SMS ——
From: Will Folks
To: Tim Pearson
Sent: May 22, 2010 1:08 PM

Yes or I will text you. Nikki knows about the picture from last year. Bottom line I don’t know that they don’t have it. That threat has been made.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 22, 2010 1:09 PM
Subject: Ok. Call me.

Ok. Call me. I’ll step away from where I am.

—— SMS ——
From: Tim Pearson
To: Will Folks
Sent: May 22, 2010 5:50 PM

Ok. Call me as soon as you can. I’m with michael and nikki so as soon as I’m back in the car I can’t talk. Need to chat before she sees davenport.