When last we left Jerry Falwell Jr. over two dozen officials at his Liberty University—which is somewhat more real than Trump University—had stepped forward to describe how Falwell was using the supposed school as a “real estate hedge fund” to pump money into his personal bank account. Under attack for patently immoral and probably illegal acts, Falwell went to what is now the new Republican shorthand for being caught in mid-crime. He was, says Falwell, the victim of “an attempted coup.”
Here a coup. There a coup. Everyone on the right appears to have gone coup coup.
And, as if the parallels weren’t already looking pretty darn parallel, Falwell went on to explain that what made this a coup were … leakers. In a complaint to the Associated Press, Falwell whined that no one would know about how he was routing university loans directly to his personal account, if it hadn’t been for “improperly shared emails belonging to the university.”
It’s too bad that at this point Falwell couldn’t summon William Barr to get him out of this. Or can he? Because Falwell has called in the FBI to ask them to put down this rebellion of letter-leaking truth tellers. However, it’s not so clear that the FBI has rushed to assist. A spokesperson has refused to say if they are looking at the case, and a cybercrime specialist consulted by the AP called Falwell’s claims of a criminal conspiracy “totally insane.” No one in this case hacked any accounts. The people sharing the emails are ex-members of the Liberty University board and employees who were the recipients of the email.
Had these current and former employees shared trade secrets, such as plans for what the university was going to do in the future, or salaries of staff, there might be a case that they had violated the law. They didn’t do that. What they showed was dozens of instances in which Falwell directed money to himself, his family, and his friends, then forced people to lie about it.
Of course, totally insane claims of a criminal conspiracy are another eerie parallel.
Falwell has a reason for why people are going after him. It’s because they want to get Donald Trump. It’s just, “I think they can’t get to him because he’s so tough, so now they’re going after anybody who supported him. And good luck to them, because I’m going to have fun with it.” Falwell thinks Trump is “tough.”
This seems like a story that’s going to be fun for a lot of people.