It’s been a crappy year for Jerry Falwell Jr.
The evangelical leader had an epic fall from grace over the summer, beginning with that now-infamous yacht photo and accompanying video and ending with the pool boy cuckolding sex scandal that resulted in him losing his cushy job as president of Liberty University.
Now, it’s being reported that, prior to being let go from Liberty, Falwell ordered millions of dollars in school funds to be spent bankrolling Donald Trump‘s reelection campaign, as well as other GOP candidates and several antigay hate groups.
The money was funneled through the Falkirk Center, a “think tank” co-founded by Falwell and funded by Liberty.
In addition to spending $50,000 on Facebook ads promoting Trump and other GOP candidates, the center hired several Trump surrogates to serve as “fellows,” and it has been actively promoting Trump’s false claims about election fraud.
Why is this a problem exactly?
Well, Politico reports:
The university is pushing the boundaries of its status as a nonprofit organization under Section 501c(3) of the federal tax code, which forbids spending money on political campaigns. Liberty’s actions also go well beyond the traditional role of a university as a politically neutral institution of higher learning.
Politico also reports that Liberty, under Falwell’s leadership, gave over $2 million to the Faith and Freedom Coalition in 2018. It also donated $300,000 each to the antigay hate groups Citizens United, Vineyard Outreach America, and Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of Heritage Foundation.
In August, Falwell was forced out as president of the university because of that whole pool boy thing. Despite receiving a $10.5 million severance package, he sued the school in October.
The lawsuit accused the university of setting out “to destroy Mr. Falwell’s reputation through numerous defamatory statements that affirm the outrageous lies of an unstable individual who attempted to extort the Falwells.”
Last week, however, Liberty announced it was “pleased” Falwell had inexplicably dropped the lawsuit. It has not commented on the latest reports about the Falkirk Center’s potentially illegal political donations.