Josh Hawley, a Republican senator from Missouri, is now questioning Jackson. There was an interesting nugget from Punchbowl News this morning, on Hawley and why he is pressing his attack on the judge over her past sentencing of offenders convicted over child sexual abuse images.
Hawley’s attacks have been widely judged to lack substance or fairness and the White House and senior Democrats have pushed back forcefully.
But Hawley is widely held to be among Republicans on the Senate judiciary committee who may wish to grandstand for the purpose of boosting their credentials as possible contenders for the presidential nomination in 2024.
On Monday, Hawley told Punchbowl: “I’m not going to run for president. I’m not a candidate in 2024. Hopefully for the Senate, if the people of Missouri will have me.”
Hawley also told Punchbowl he “liked” Jackson, and added: “I want to be careful here not to cast aspersions on her personally because I like her, and I think she’s a good person. I want to be clear on that.
“But she may [have] a philosophy of the law. To me, that’s what this is about – her record, and her philosophy.
“This way, [Jackson] knows exactly what I’m going to ask. And we’ll have an informed conversation … This is a smart person. She will come, and she will have her notes and whatever else on these cases. And she’ll say, ‘Here’s why I did what I did, here’s my thinking,’ and that’ll be illuminating.”
Hawley also responded to criticism from the White House and Democrats including Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate judiciary committee chair, regarding his use of the child sexual abuse images issue as an attack line.
“It tells me that they, the White House and Democrats, are really worried about this issue,” he said. “You’ll notice that they wouldn’t actually talk about it on the committee.”
On Tuesday, Jackson did talk about it, after being teed up by Durbin.
“As a mother and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, nothing could be further from the truth,” she said, adding that child abuse cases were among the most difficult she dealt with. She described child pornography as a “sickening and egregious crime”.
Jackson said she imposed “significant sentences” and emphasised that she always told offenders the consequences of their crimes by reading them victims’ statements.
Here’s some more about Hawley: