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State House

Todd Rutherford Investigation: Minority Leader Interviewed By SLED

Agents questioning powerful politician …

Three months ago, our media outlet reported exclusively on an ongoing criminal investigation into the man at the center of South Carolina’s badly broken judiciary … a scandal which, unfortunately, does not appear to be tied to his starring role in the systemic miscarriage of justice across the Palmetto State.

Although his conduct there should be under investigation …

As we noted at the time, powerful lawyer-legislator Todd Rutherford – who sits on the influential S.C. Judicial Merit Selection Commission (SCJMSC) and serves as minority leader of the S.C. House of Representatives – is the focus of an ongoing investigation into allegations tied to his “official duties” as a legislator, sources familiar with the status of the inquiry confirmed.

Specifically, items related to his finances.

How did the investigation begin? Who is leading it? And what are they looking for?

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According to our sources, the probe into Rutherford began in 2021 and was originally focused on hidden earmarks, or secretive spending appropriations inserted by lawmakers into the annual state budget.

“It started with earmark stuff,” a source close to the probe confirmed to us back in August. “But then it started looking into him double-dipping on his campaign account and other (alleged) misconduct.”

The investigation is being led – at least initially – by agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), but we confirmed there is a federal component to the probe. We also confirmed Rutherford’s bank records were reportedly subpoenaed by at least one law enforcement entity in connection with the inquiry, sources close to the investigation have confirmed.

This week, there was an escalation to the inquiries …

According to our sources, Rutherford was spotted entering a SLED facility on Monday morning (December 4, 2023) accompanied by a pair of public corruption investigators. The 53-year-old Columbia, S.C. native was “smiling” and “laughing nervously,” according to a source who saw him enter the building.

Sources familiar with the status of the investigation confirmed Rutherford was interviewed – but declined to comment further. SLED had no comment on the reported interview – or rumors of a follow-up interview conducted earlier today (December 5, 2023).

Rutherford has previously denied any wrongdoing – and accused his political rivals of “spreading rumors” and “making shit up.”

“I can’t stop people from making shit up,” Rutherford told me back in August. “People are trying to make hay on something without any substance so they are just making other stuff up.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks (Dylan Nolan)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.

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5 comments

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VERITAS Top fan December 5, 2023 at 8:26 pm

Todd Rutherford, whose admiring eyes and gestures of adoration towards AleX Murderer, recorded live for all to see, absolutely needs to be investigated for his abhorrent conduct as an attorney and legislator. How many of these lawyers, legislators, and lawyer-legislators are in the pockets of those like convicted double-homicide AleX Murderer and other “good people” of South Carolina.

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Time Will Tell December 6, 2023 at 5:39 am

I used to like Rutherford and what I then perceived as his balanced approach to issues. Given more recent events, I am glad he is receiving scrutiny. What I am doubtful of, is SLED investigating him, a long-time Legislator with standing. If this were in the days of
JP Strom, when SLED “didn’t make the laws, just enforced them”, I might have some confidence in this procedure. Given SLED’s role these days, as a wannabe fourth arm of government (in addition to Legislative, Executive, and Judicial), which seeks to craft or curtail laws such as those liberalizing marijuana growth, use, and possession; or those laws which might restore Second Amendment rights long ago stolen from South Carolina Citizens, what are the chances that such investigation will truly be thorough or impartial? Will such an investigation be thorough, or will an increasingly politicized SLED seek to gain a convert to their legislative agendas from a vulnerable Legislator who likely will continue being elected for many years to come?

Even in the days of JP Strom, would such an investigation of a (apparently) popular legislator with staying power, be thorough or impartial given his say-so regarding budget matters for the organization?

This will be worth pulling up a seat and watching.

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Ralph Hightower Top fan December 5, 2023 at 9:01 pm

Didn’t Rutherford earmark money to his wife’s (or former) company, and also earmarks to his mother-in-law?

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Amelia Price Top fan December 6, 2023 at 8:16 am

Probably another Bob Menendez-type investigation. You know, illegal bribery where a high-powered politician will skate like the free-range chickens they are!

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J Monday Top fan December 7, 2023 at 6:29 am

Rightfully so…being investigated. He is slimey as evidenced by the Mickey Mouse of getting a convicted murderer a secretive early release. He needs to be off that judiciary committee whether needed reform takes place or not. (And it is needed) And his cozying up to the likes of monster Alex Murdaugh tells us all what we need to know about him-birds of a feather.

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