Addison Smith, a Campus Reform Reporter and Turning Point USA Campus Secretary has been accused of Illegally recording private conversations at Liberty University. According to Campus Reform’s Website, Smith is a Virginia Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse. The website also states that Smith is a student of Business Marketing at Liberty University in Lynchburg Virginia.
The secret recordings allegedly occurred during a meeting at the Falkirk Center at Liberty University. According to attendees, the meeting was held to garner supporters and recruit ambassadors. The Falkirk Center launched in November of 2019 and “aims to shape government policies, national institutions and American culture around Judeo-Christian principles” according to its website. Liberty University is one of the largest Christian Universities in the world, and one of the largest non-profit universities in the United States measured by student enrollment.
With wiretap laws varying from state to state, rookie and seasoned journalists have often found themselves on the wrong end of the stick when performing their journalistic duties. Unfamiliarity, or deliberate disregard for state laws pertaining to wiretapping, have been the demise of many journalists eager to break a story. The State of Virginia, where Falkirk is located, is a one-party consent state and falls under Virginia’s wiretapping law. The law is a “one-party consent” law and is governed by Virginia Code § 19.2-62. The code makes it a crime to intercept or record any “wire, oral, or electronic communication” unless one party to the conversation consents. Violation of this law is considered a Felony and is punishable by imprisonment and fine. According to testimony from the parties involved, Smith was not involved in the private conversation, and neither party was aware that the conversation was being recorded.
According to individuals familiar with the situation, Smith has been sharing, and bragging about the secret recordings which he has obtained and is stating that “the recordings are of Falkirk and Charlie Kirk haters who are going to be taken down”. A friend of Smith who did not attend the meeting said that Smith seemed eager to “prove his loyalty” to Falkirk Center and Charlie Kirk by sharing the recordings with Kirk, and Falkirk Center leadership. A close friend of Smith who has known him since freshman year, said that he allegedly has a “treasure trove” of secret recordings of private conversations of Liberty University Staff and students and Turning Point USA leadership staff which he obtained at Student Action Summits and other Liberty and Turning Point Events. When one of the parties alleged to have been in the secretly recorded conversation was reached for comment, they stated that “It is currently being looked into and was being handled as a legal matter.”
According to his Instagram page, Smith has long basked in the political realm with photo opportunities with prominent conservatives littering his page. In one picture he posed for a handshake with the President’s son Donald Trump Jr at a book signing. In another photo he posed with Charlie Kirk the founder of both Falkirk Center and Turning Point USA captioned “Needa woman that looks at me the way the chick on the wall looks at Charlie’s head. Smith has also posed for photos with Josh Murray, David Harris Jr, and several other Falkirk Center fellows.
In January, Smith attended the March for Life in Washington D.C on a bus trip sponsored by the Falkirk Center, according to sources with knowledge of the trip.
The investigation into Smith, and the illegal wiretapping allegations appears to be ongoing, and whether or not Addison Smith will officially be charged is undetermined.
Addison Smith has not responded to a request for comment. Falkirk Center, Turning Point USA, and Campus Reform have not yet offered a statement on this incident.