U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) released the following statement in response to a "fact check" from the Washington Post on his Twitter thread exposing Judge Jackson's leniency on child porn offenders:
"Judge Jackson has yet to address her alarming record on child porn offenders. But rather than ask her questions, the Washington Post is regurgitating White House talking points. Their 'fact check' questions & my answers below. Now go ask the person nominated for the Supreme Court."
WASHINGTON POST QUESTION 1:
No. Judge Jackson’s words are right there in print, and they speak for themselves. When she does quote from or refer to previous testimony, she does so with approval and indicates the witness has changed her mind on child porn offenders.
- Judge Jackson said she found the “category of nonsexually motivated child pornography offenders” to be “just so interesting.”
- Judge Jackson theorized there “could be a less-serious child pornography offender” whose “motivation is the challenge” while “they aren’t necessarily that interested in the child pornography piece of it.”
- Judge Jackson said she had “mistakingly [sic.] assumed that child pornography offenders are pedophiles” and wanted to “understand this category of nonpedophiles who obtain child pornography”
WASHINGTON POST QUESTION 2:
Judge Jackson recommended eliminating the 5-year mandatory minimum sentence for child porn. It’s right there in the report. As for the other Commissioners who supported this bad recommendation, they probably shouldn’t be on the Supreme Court either.
WASHINGTON POST QUESTION 3:
Forget the maximum guideline, Judge Jackson went below the maximum, the minimum, and below what the government requested in every single case for which we can find records, except two. In those two the law required her to impose the sentence the government recommended.
As to the idea we ought to go soft on child porn offenders, you might want to have a look at the exploding severity of child porn usage. A 2019 New York Times report found 45 million images of child pornography that year, more than double from the previous year, and up from less than a million a decade ago. Critics of the child pornography guidelines made their criticisms before these numbers were reported. This is not the time to go soft on sex offenses against children.