January 6, 2011
Grassley Investigation Ends with No Penalty for Televangelists
Sen. Chuck Grassley's investigation of televangelists finished with no penalties for the pastors who did not cooperate and found no definitive instances of wrongdoing, the Associated Press reports.
Grassley (R-Iowa), who launched the investigation in 2007, released the report at the end of his tenure as the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.
Two of the targeted televangelists — Joyce Meyer, based in Missouri and Benny Hinn, based in California — told Grassley that they have made changes in how they govern their ministries or set compensation.
But four of the televangelists would not provide full information about their finances. Some questioned whether Grassley had the authority to conduct the investigation. Others accused him of violating their religious freedom.
Grassley's staff said in the report that they did not issue subpoenas to further the investigation because witnesses feared retaliation if they spoke out publicly and the Finance Committee did not have the time or resources to enforce the subpoenas.
The televangelists who did not provide full information included Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Bishop Eddie Long, Creflo and Taffi Dollar, and Randy and Paula White. See more of CT's previous coverage here.
And in other television news, Ted Haggard is getting his own reality project on TLC called Ted Haggard: Scandalous. The one-hour special will debut on January 16, according to Entertainment Weekly. In 2006, a male escort had alleged that Haggard had paid him for sex and drugs, leading him to step down as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and as senior pastor of New Life. started St. James Church in Colorado Springs last May.