WH Has Very Bad Take on Concern Over Lax Child Porn Sentences From Ketanji Brown Jackson

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

We reported earlier about the second day of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee for SCOTUS nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. I wrote earlier about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) exposing some of the problems in Judge Jackson’s answers.

But Jackson also got into some trouble when she was asked about why she imposed lenient sentences for child porn offenders.

Here’s one of the troubling answers that she gave on Monday, suggesting that the reason that she may have gone lighter on some of the sentences was that she thought the sentencing guidelines were outdated or not keeping up with the nature of the internet.

Except that it isn’t up to her to change the sentencing guidelines by fiat if that’s what she’s saying here.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) asked her about that regarding this case, where he said the sentencing guideline said 10 years and she gave three months.

This clip was very concerning as well, with Hawley noting that Jackson viewed the 18-year-old defendant as a “peer” of the young children portrayed.

Now, I think that her responses on all of this are woefully deficient, especially because of the nature of the crimes. But the White House must have thought the GOP line of questioning was affecting the support for the nominee because they came out with an attempt to defend her on Tuesday. But talk about a bad take! White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates attacked Hawley by saying the concern about the lax sentences from Jackson was an “embarrassing, QAnon-signaling smear.”

You can talk about the nature of her sentences, and argue back and forth about whether they were lax or not. What you can’t argue about is the reality that these were real child porn convictions that Bates is downplaying with that kind of response. Does he truly think that’s a winning take for the large majority of Americans who believe child pornography to be a very serious crime? Does he truly think it’s a winning strategy to be supportive of lax sentences? Biden is already getting smacked in the polls by Americans who think he is soft on crime and now the White House just added more to it with this ridiculous statement.

Now not only did the White House put out this dumb take, they must have also sent out the talking points because it’s now being repeated in media, with CNN and MSNBC personalities pushing the narrative.

Here’s Joy Reid going all-in.

And of all people to put his hand in on this, Jeffrey Toobin was who CNN had propounding on the subject. Just maybe not the best guy under the circumstances? And how is he still on CNN?

So for all these clueless people: Americans don’t care about your narratives, they do know that child porn is wrong. And all they see is you guys seemingly downplaying lax sentences. Not a good look at all. How to stick your foot in things more than Joe Biden already has.