The Nation correspondent Elie Mystal accused Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) on MSNBC of trying to get President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee killed.
The Demand Justice board member weighed in Saturday morning on the Missouri senator’s allegations that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson “has a pattern of letting child porn offenders off the hook for their appalling crimes.”
“Here’s where I need the Democrats to step up,” Mystal said.
“Because when they try to smear her, I need the Democrats to get up and defend her just as vociferously as Lindsey Graham defended alleged attempted rapist Brett Kavanaugh,” he added, though the Senate Judiciary Committee found no evidence to corroborate sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.
Mystal called Hawley’s allegations “trumped up alleged issues about her sentencing for sex offenders.”
“Because what Josh Hawley is doing when he tries to do this is he’s trying to get her killed,” he continued. “He’s trying to get violence done against a Supreme Court nominee.”
.@ElieNYC: “What Josh Hawley is doing when he tries to do this he is trying to get [Ketanji Brown Jackson] killed. He’s trying to get violence done against a Supreme Court nominee.”
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) March 19, 2022
“We know this because when these people go off making their ridiculous claims about child pornography, we know that some of their people show up violently to do stuff, as happened to the New Hampshire pizza parlor,” he continued, referencing Pizza Gate, a conspiracy theory about a Clinton-run-pedophile ring in a DC pizza joint.
“And you know how I know that Josh Hawley knows what Pizza Gate is all about,” he added. “Because guess whose the judge who sentenced the Pizza Gate guy? Oh, that was Ketanji Brown Jackson.”
Mystal and Demand Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Daily Wire.
Hawley aired his concerns about Jackson in a Wednesday evening Twitter thread highlighting “an alarming pattern when it comes to Judge Jackson’s treatment of sex offenders, especially those preying on children.”
The senator claimed that as far back as during Jackson’s time in law school, the judge has questioned whether convicts should be made to register as sex offenders and said that it leads to “stigmatization and ostracism.”
“She’s suggested public policy is driven by a ‘climate of fear, hatred & revenge’ against sex offenders,” Hawley tweeted.
“It gets worse,” he warned. “As a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Judge Jackson advocated for drastic change in how the law treats sex offenders by eliminating the existing mandatory minimum sentences for child porn.”
According to the senator, Jackson has said that some people in possession of child pornography “are in this for either the collection, or the people who are loners and find status in their participation in the community.”
The Missouri Republican further said that Jackson has suggested there may be a type of “less-serious child pornography offender” whose motivation is not sexual, and noted that during Jackson’s time on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Jackson said she “mistakingly assumed that child pornography offenders are pedophiles.”
The full statement here pic.twitter.com/IqDiTAm6r4
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) March 17, 2022
Jackson also said that she wanted “to understand this category of nonpedophiles who obtain child pornography,” Hawley added.
“On the federal bench, Judge Jackson put her troubling views into action,” the senator tweeted. “In every single child porn case for which we can find records, Judge Jackson deviated from the federal sentencing guidelines in favor of child porn offenders.”
The Daily Wire has not independently confirmed the senator’s claims, which come ahead of the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation hearings next week.
Multiple media outlets appeared to defend Jackson’s reported lenient sentences by suggesting that federal sentencing guidelines for child pornographers are behind the times.
Lacking any effective basis to oppose Judge Jackson, her GOP opponents have resorted to false attacks. Three Pinocchios for the latest slop:
— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) March 19, 2022
Vox referenced an Ohio State law professor’s view that federal sentencing guidelines for child pornographers are “widely considered as dysfunctional and unduly severe.”
Vox’s article was shared by White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates and promoted by the White House.
On the same point, HuffPost stated that Jackson’s behavior was normal, noting that 30% of non-production child pornography offenders received sentences that fell within federal guidelines because many judges thought the guidelines were too severe.
CNN also reported that it has become “a norm among judges to issue sentences below the guidelines in these child porn cases that don’t involve producing the pornography itself.”
“The guidelines are viewed as out-of-date by many judges, particularly for how they treat the use of computers and other elements that can enhance a sentence under the guidelines,” the publication reported.
The Washington Post gave Hawley’s claims “three Pinnnochios,” claiming that “the picture that Hawley provides is a selective one that lacks significant context.”
“He suggests that Jackson is out of the judicial mainstream with her sentencing of child-pornography defendants,” WaPo’s Glenn Kessler wrote, accusing Hawley of ignoring “a long debate within the judicial community about whether mandatory minimums were too high” and “selectively” quoting from “testimony, USCC materials and various court cases to make his case.”
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