Politics & Government

McMaster ordered to hand over correspondence

MANNING – S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster must hand over to a judge any e-mails, text messages or other correspondence between his office and Gov.-Elect Nikki Haley regarding her late tax filings as well as any correspondence about state Rep. Kris Crawford’s late tax filings, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Attorneys for Crawford, a Florence Republican charged with failure to file a state tax return on nearly $2 million in personal and business income, subpoenaed the correspondence, phone records and other documents from McMaster and Haley following an October press conference. At that press conference, Haley said Crawford’s tax problems were, in essence, more serious than Haley’s, warranting the criminal charges against him while Haley, who also has filed her taxes late, was not charged.

McMaster has until Dec. 10 to hand over the correspondence, if it exists, to Circuit Court Judge Tommy Cooper who made Tuesday's ruling. Cooper said he will privately review the documents and, if he finds them relevant, share them with Crawford for his upcoming trial. During Haley’s campaign, some of her critics argued it was unfair Crawford was criminally charged while Haley faced no charges even though she acknowledged late tax filings and paid thousands of dollars in fines.