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TV pastor Jim Bakker hopes attorney general halts probe

O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri-based TV pastor Jim Bakker hopes Arkansas’ attorney general does not obtain personal information of his congregation members as part of an investigation into his false promotion of a product claiming it cured the coronavirus.

Bakker’s attorneys said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s efforts were an affront to religious freedom and “disturbing,” according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

A civil action was filed late last week on behalf of Bakker and his Morningside Church and Morningside Church Productions, less than three months after the state of Missouri sued Bakker for falsely claiming that a health supplement could cure the coronavirus.

Bakker asked a judge to dismiss the state lawsuit in May. His product, ‘Silver Solution,’ is described as a colloidal silver, which is a product often sold on the internet as a dietary supplement.

Amanda Priest, an attorney general’s office spokeswoman, said Arkansas consumers were “deceived” by Bakker and may have been harmed “financially and physically” by the pastor’s actions.

Jay Nixon, one of Bakker’s attorneys and former governor, said Rutledge’s information-seeking could set a dangerous precedent.

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