Michael Cohen hasn’t had a good year. It kicked off with revelations that he’d helped in a hush money scheme targeting women with whom his former boss President Donald Trump had affairs, and most recently, he was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in that and other criminal activity. There’s something else — according to Buzzfeed News, he consulted with evangelical Christian leader Jerry Falwell Jr. about a massive loan of some $1.8 million that the public figure gave a former Florida pool attendant who he and his wife had befriended.
That consultation seems to have taken place late in the game, before Falwell Jr. offered his endorsement of Trump in the 2016 elections, although there’s no direct evidence that one led to the other.
Falwell eventually asserted:
‘In my opinion, Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others, as Jesus taught in the Great Commandment.’
That’s fitting from a guy so detached from reality that he’s suggested feminists, LGBT people, and pro-choice individuals were responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks since they attracted the wrath of God or whatever.
He’s currently facing a lawsuit from a father and son who claim they were inappropriately pushed out of the business venture that the massive Falwell Jr. loan was for. The religious leader and president of the high profile Liberty University — which has hosted Trump — aimed to help fund a hostel after having met Giancarlo Granda, who was 21 years old at the time, while he and his wife stayed at a luxury hotel in Miami in 2012.
He only recently confirmed any of this, delivering the revelation that yes, he was involved in the context of a filing seeking to have the lawsuit against him from Jesus Fernandez and his son Jesus Fernandez Jr. dismissed. Falwell has insisted that he never reached a business agreement with the Fernandez family, instead only focusing his support on Granda, who the prominent conservative said was set to serve as local manager for the hostel as part of the deal. Eventually, a company owned by Granda, Falwell Jr.’s wife Becki Tilley, and his son Jerry Falwell III set up and purchased the hostel, an effort to which Falwell Jr. and his wife contributed $1 million. They then contributed $800,000 to renovation efforts.
There’s little clear explanation for why they poured so much cash into the Alton Hostel project. By all appearances, it’s just another hostel, and Buzzfeed even notes that Granda had “no evident experience in real estate or hotel management.” The only spark is that previously reported “friendly relationship” that developed between the Falwells and Granda, who’s consistently refused to offer any in depth commentary for Buzzfeed’s reporting. The friendship reached such a fever pitch that the Falwells seemingly had Granda over as their personal guest for Liberty University’s convocation event where Trump spoke, and the two were introduced.
We might know more eventually, though, since the Fernandez family’s lawyer Rolando Diaz insisted of Falwell Jr.:
‘We have affidavits that say he was involved.. His deposition is taking place whether he likes it or not.’
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot