Liberty College President Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He’s Goal Of ‘Tried Coup’

Written by on September 11, 2019

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Liberty College President Jerry Falwell Jr. mentioned Tuesday that he’s asking the FBI to research what he known as a “prison” smear marketing campaign orchestrated in opposition to him by a number of disgruntled former board members and staff.

Falwell informed The Related Press he has proof that the group improperly shared emails belonging to the college with reporters in an try to discredit him. He mentioned the “tried coup” was partially motivated by his ardent backing of President Donald Trump.

Falwell, head of the nation’s most high-profile evangelical faculty, was among the many earliest Christian conservatives to endorse Trump’s marketing campaign.

His allegations come after the publication of a narrative in Politico Journal on Monday that alleged Falwell “presides over a tradition of self-dealing” at Liberty that has improperly benefited him and his household. The story cited unnamed sources described as present and former officers or Falwell associates.

“I’m not going to dignify the lies that have been reported yesterday with a response, however I’m going to the authorities and I’m going to civil court docket,” Falwell mentioned, referring to the reporter as a “little boy.”

He added that Liberty has employed “the meanest lawyer in New York,” whom he declined to establish, to pursue civil instances. Falwell additionally declined to establish the folks he mentioned have been spreading the emails.

Falwell is the son of the late evangelist, Liberty founder and Ethical Majority chief, the Rev. Jerry Falwell. He has come underneath elevated scrutiny not too long ago over his private life and enterprise investments, together with his involvement in a Miami hostel.

The Hill first reported on Tuesday that Falwell had requested an FBI investigation.

Falwell mentioned he contacted the FBI final week after he realized that reporters have been reaching out to Liberty staff in regards to the emails he insists have been stolen.

“Liberty owns each single a kind of emails. It’s our property. They have been working for us once they used our server. And our insurance policies make it clear each e-mail despatched on our server is owned by Liberty and if anyone shares it with anyone exterior Liberty, it’s theft. And in order that’s the underlying crime,” Falwell informed AP in a telephone interview.

An FBI spokeswoman declined remark.

Cybercrime skilled Nick Akerman mentioned Falwell’s assertion of a prison conspiracy is “completely insane.” Akerman mentioned the ex-board members and staff can share emails with reporters so long as that they had approved entry to them and didn’t hack into another person’s account. He mentioned commerce secrets and techniques are additionally protected underneath the legislation, however Liberty wouldn’t be capable of make a case there both.

“I don’t assume any legislation enforcement company goes to have an interest on this one,” mentioned Akerman, a associate at Dorsey & Whitney and former federal prosecutor.

Liberty, primarily based in Lynchburg, Virginia, was based in 1971 by Falwell’s father with simply 154 college students. It now boasts an enrollment of greater than 100,000, together with these in its huge on-line schooling program. It has develop into an influential hub of conservative politics, frequented by candidates courting evangelical voters.

Falwell was an early and ardent Trump supporter, which created a rift on campus in the course of the presidential marketing campaign and has sparked controversy since.

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