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CNN’s Toobin: Hawley questions on child porn an appeal ‘to the QAnon audience’

CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin argued questions from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson about a ruling she made involving a child pornography case is rooted in a bid to woo supporters of the QAnon conspiracy. 

“This is about appealing to the Qanon audience,” Toobin said Tuesday during CNN’s coverage of Jackson’s Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings. “This cult that is a big presence is Republican party politics now where Senator Hawley is trying to ingratiate himself and run for president with their support.” 

During Tuesday’s questioning from Senators, Hawley repeatedly grilled Jackson on her handling of child pornography case arguing she let predators “let off the hook.”

The Republican specifically focused on United States v. Hawkins, a case Jackson ruled on that gave a defendant a three-month prison sentence, below the government’s recommendation of two years in prison and far below the federal advisory guideline of a minimum of eight years of incarceration. 

Believers in the QAnon conspiracy ascribe to the false belief that powerful people in media, politics and government, primarily Democrats, are secretly abusing children. 

A February poll found a quarter of Republicans agree with those beliefs and supporters of the conspiracy have been seen at rallies for former president Trump. 

Toobin called Hawley’s questioning of Jackson “really extraordinary.” 

“We had the entire half hour about a single case,” he said. “Where he got to recite the grizzly details … and say pedophilia over and over again.”  

Coverage of Tuesday’s questioning in The New York Times also alluded to the QAnon conspiracy in its coverage, which some conservatives pushed back on.  

Tags Donald Trump Jeffrey Toobin Josh Hawley Josh Hawley Ketanji Brown Jackson QAnon

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