You may recall that conservative activist and former Family Research Council staffer Joshua Duggar was arrested earlier this year on charges of receiving and possessing illicit images of child sexual abuse. He faces decades in prison; the trial will begin in November.
But his attorney is already trying to get the entire case tossed out on the grounds that the federal investigation into his alleged crimes was illegal because the people in charge of the Department of Homeland Security at the time were “unlawfully” appointed by then-president Donald Trump.
Adam Klasfeld of Law & Crime explains:
When federal agents started looking into Duggar in 2019, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was under the control of Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, and the probe continued into the tenure of Acting Secretary Chad Wolf. The Government Accountability Office later found that Trump appointed both men unlawfully, circumventing the normal process of congressional approval. Federal judges later ruled similarly, invalidating some of the agency’s actions under their control.
None of that means the investigation itself was a problem. Duggar is trying to get off on some technicality, hoping everyone will just avoid the actual substance of what he did. By his logic, no investigations that occurred in the final year of Trump’s term should “count,” even if those investigations had nothing to do with the appointees in question.
It’s hard to imagine a judge would take this argument seriously. Given the evidence the public has already heard about Duggar’s actions, he deserves to be judged on the merits of the case against him, not freed on some tangential issue. If Trump’s incompetence could be used to excuse alleged crimes, there would be no shortage of accused people citing it no matter the reason.
It’s also telling that Duggar is pointing out the Trump administration’s incompetence only when it might personally benefit him. Did Josh or anyone else in his conservative Christian circles denounce Trump’s appointments when he was in office? Did they ever care? Or are they just grasping at straws?
If this is the best argument Duggar has, he must know things look bad for him.
(Thanks to everyone for the link)