On Tuesday, Jerry Falwell Jr. tried to drag the FBI into his reputational woes. By Wednesday afternoon, he vowed to take matters into his own hands.
Falwell, the prominent Trump supporter and president of the evangelical Liberty University, told CNN in a story published Wednesday that he’s considering bringing a civil suit against several of his former employees and Liberty board members who spoke anonymously to Politico for a report published earlier this week. In the story’s words, “current and former Liberty University officials describe a culture of fear and self-dealing at the largest Christian college in the world.”
Falwell said the emails shared with Politico and the anonymous comments made to the outlet were a breach of the university’s non-disclosure agreements.
“The emails are stolen property,” Falwell told CNN on Tuesday, “and the fact that all these people in different states are joining together and sharing stolen emails with the press makes it a criminal conspiracy.” Falwell also told CNN he believes the former employees’ motive in spilling to Politico lies in his allegiance to President Trump and an interest in getting him ousted as head of the university founded by his father, Jerry Falwell Sr., a prominent evangelical pastor who is widely revered as the founder of the moral majority movement.
“There is no self-dealing at Liberty University,” Falwell told CNN. “I have never written a single check, have not gotten a single penny from any Liberty transaction except for my salary, which is approved by the board every year.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Falwell told the Hill that he had shared evidence with the FBI and asked the agency to probe what he calls a criminal conspiracy against himself and university leadership. He told CNN the anonymous sources were “cowardly” for not sharing their names.
The threat of legal action stems from a scathing report in Politico Magazine earlier this week that detailed Falwell’s alleged self-dealing at the school and bragging about his own apparent sexual life.