On Monday, Sen. Josh Hawley put on his best Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis impression in dealing with a reporter who tried to trap him in a “gotcha” situation.

ABC News Congressional correspondent Rachel Scott claimed the Republican had supported judges in the past who had lenient records surrounding child pornography cases.

If you’re wondering why – it’s because Hawley had previously questioned Joe Biden’s Supreme court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson about her record on sentencing child pornography cases. 

Someone from his office recorded the exchange.

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Hawley: ‘I know that’s a White House talking point, but I think it’s a dangerous one’

In the exchange, you hear Hawley say, “Not for this court I haven’t. Not for the Supreme Court.”

Reporter Scott then asked Hawley, “But how is it acceptable for a lower court, if it’s not acceptable for a higher court?”

Hawley said he didn’t know which judges she was talking about – and would never have knowingly supported any judge who systematically gave light sentences for child porn.

Scott then claimed, “We have looked through your record and it shows that you have voted for at least three federal judges that have imposed lighter sanctions on child porn offenders, so how do you square that?”

What was left unsaid by Scott is the obvious question – why didn’t any reporters bring that up when these judges were nominated? Does it only matter now that when they think it can be used to defend Biden or attack a Republican Senator?

Hawley wasn’t giving in. “Same answer, not for this court. And, I think this pattern is going to be a problem wherever I’m aware of it. In this instance, I know that’s a White House talking point, but I think it’s a dangerous one,” the senator continued. “You gotta be careful with that. It’s the old ‘Well, everyone else is jumping off a cliff, so I will too.’”

Scott then asked Hawley if he regrets voting for the judges.

Hawley replied, “But what were the cases? You don’t know their record. What cases? Was it after their confirmation or before?”

“Do you expect me to just—,” Scott began.

“Well, I expect you to know the facts that you ask me about,” Hawley shot back.

“So how many cases did they have? Judge Jackson had seven,” Hawley went on. “I just listed them. So what are the ones that these judges have?”

“So, you don’t know. You’re just here to do a ‘gotcha,’” the senator said. “When you know the facts, get back to me.”

“Good luck!” he finished with the reporter.

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Hawley Says He’s Not Trying To Trap Jackson

Hawley said during the hearings that he was “not interested in trapping Judge Jackson,” but expects she will have a “coherent view and explanation” about her record.

“I’m interested in her answer because I found in our time together that she was enormously thoughtful, enormously accomplished, and I suspect has a coherent view and explanation and a way of thinking about this that I look forward to hearing and I think she deserves the chance to talk about it,” Hawley said.





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