Officials won’t say if the probe directly involves the disgraced anti-LGBTQ activist and former reality star.
November 21 2019 1:31 PM EST
An Arkansas business tied to disgraced former reality star and anti-LGBTQ activist Josh Duggar is involved in an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security.
Homeland Security agents had been at the Springdale, Ark., business as part of an “ongoing federal investigation,” a spokesperson confirmed to Fayetteville TV station KNWA Wednesday. The spokesperson gave only the address of the business, not the name, but the station found through local government records that the company located there is Wholesale Motorcars, and Duggar is listed as the contact for the firm, although not the owner of the property.
The station and other outlets had previously reported that Homeland Security had conducted an investigation at Duggar’s home in nearby Tontitown, which is apparently not the case. The Homeland Security spokesperson would not say if Duggar himself was the subject of the probe.
“I can’t speak to any individual that may be under investigation,” the spokesperson told KNWA. “So I can confirm that we were at that address. And spoke to individuals at that location. But I can’t discuss any individuals by name.”
“I’m not able to speak specifically, but in a general sense, when a federal law enforcement agency is at a location pursuant to an ‘ongoing federal investigation,’ there is a very narrow set of circumstances that would apply, and I would say that our presence is consistent with that,” the spokesperson added. “I’m just not able to discuss the exact nature.”
Duggar is the oldest sibling in the fundamentalist Christian family chronicled in the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting. He once worked for Family Research Council Action, the lobbying arm of the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council, but he resigned in 2015 after InTouch Weekly reported that when he was a teenager a decade earlier, he had sexually abused some of his sisters and a family friend. He confessed the deeds to his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, according to police reports, but he never faced criminal charges. 19 Kids and Counting was canceled after the revelations, but family members, without Josh, are featured in a spin-off, Counting On.
In 2015 he was also revealed to be a user of the hookup website Ashley Madison, which facilitates extramarital affairs. “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” he said on his family’s official website in the wake of the report. “While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife. I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.”
His family’s activism includes campaigning against an LGBTQ rights ordinance in Fayetteville. Michelle Duggar recorded a robocall in 2014 urging voters to repeal the ordinance in which she painted transgender people as predators. The repeal campaign was successful, but the City Council passed a similar ordinance in 2015. It’s now blocked by a state law, but the city has a lawsuit going against the state.