Meanwhile, Donehue was more deliberate in his attempts to dig up dirt about the supposed Haley affair and hype his “findings” to reporters and GOP insiders, according to sources. He wasn’t working directly for the Barrett campaign, but he did work at Sullivan’s firm and he functioned like a super-charged volunteer for Haley’s opponent — working the phones, gathering intel, and dangling the latest rumors in front of other politicos.

Donehue admits now to “gossiping about the rumors,” but insists, “I certainly did not start them, or intentionally spread them.”

But in a series of text messages he exchanged with FITSNews’s Folks in May 2010 — days before the blogger published his allegation — Donehue seemed to suggest he had more control over the rumormongering than he now lets on.

In one of the messages (which were first published at FITSNews, and have since been authenticated by BuzzFeed News), Donehue wrote to Folks, “Here my promise to you, man to man. If you tell me that a story will fuck your marriage, I’ll do everything in my power to kill it.” In another, Donehue said, “I didn’t start this. I just told too many people that it was happening.” And in yet another, he boasted, “If I wanted [Haley] gone I would have already done it.”