Up until yesterday, I assumed the most embarrassing picture ever taken of Jerry Falwell, Jr. was the one of him grinning and shaking Trump’s hand while standing in front of a copy of Playboy Magazine.
Apparently, I was wrong.
Reuters broke this story yesterday after being provided a recording of Michael Cohen by Tom Arnold. You remember Tom Arnold? Mr. Roseanne #2? Yeah, THAT Tom Arnold. On the recording, Trump fixer Michael Cohen tells Arnold that he helped Falwell obtain “embarrassing personal photos” from a blackmailer.
“There’s a bunch of photographs — you know, personal photographs — that somehow, the guy ended up getting. I actually have one of the photos. It’s terrible.”
Man, this story just keeps getting better! I may overdose on the Schadenfreude.
There is no word as to exactly WHAT these photos depict and thank the good lord they haven’t been leaked online because none of us want to see THAT. There is also no detail as to who the alleged blackmailer was or how he obtained said photos.
Reverend Falwell issued a denial through his attorney stating that “While the Falwells have a long-standing friendship with Michael Cohen, they never engaged or paid Cohen to represent them in any legal or other professional capacity, and Cohen did not ever resolve any legal matter on their behalf.”
But if there ARE such photos, there is speculation that Cohen used them to leverage Falwell’s endorsement of Trump before the 2016 Iowa primary. It has always been surprising that the head of Liberty University and megachurch pastor would have chosen to endorse a know adulterer over other Republican candidates over conservatives such as Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz and fellow Baptist minister Mike Huckabee. Could there have been blackmail involved?
As for Michael Cohen, he is unavailable for comment on this story, having reported to jail on Monday for his 3 year sentence on tax evasion and campaign-finance violations.
There are a lot of titillating allegations here without much evidence, other than the recorded phone call between Cohen and Arnold. But if true, this could be devastating to Falwell. It would also explain a lot in the eyes of his critics.