June 30, 2022

Four Republican lawmakers urge Barr to crack down on obscene pornography

A group of Republicans have just put in a request to the U.S. attorney general.

Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Vicky Hartzler (R-MS), and Brian Babin (R-TX) joined forces to urge William Barr and the Justice Department to go after those who produce and distribute obscene pornography. 

Dear Mr. Barr,

This week, these four members of Congress made their request in a letter that they sent to Barr and which has since been obtained by the National Review. 

“The internet and other evolving technologies are fueling the explosion of obscene pornography by making it more accessible and visceral,” they wrote. “This explosion in pornography coincides with an increase in violence towards women and an increase in the volume of human trafficking as well as child pornography.”

According to the authors, the negative consequences of obscene pornography don’t stop there.

“Victims are not limited to those directly exploited, however, and include society writ large,” they added. “This phenomenon is especially harmful to youth, who are being exposed to obscene pornography at exceptionally younger ages.”

Why Barr?

These men and women of Congress specifically chose Barr’s justice department to address this issue because of the attorney general’s past. Back when Barr served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, he made it a point to reduce child pornography, and, during that period, the prosecution of such crimes notably increased.

Things changed, however, under both the administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. In fact, when Obama was in office, Attorney General Eric Holder even got rid of the Criminal Division’s Obscenity Prosecution Task Force.

As part of his presidency, Trump has made a vow to get things back on track by cracking down obscene pornography, and these Republicans are hoping that Barr will help to achieve this goal.

“Given the pervasiveness of obscenity, it’s our recommendation that you declare the prosecution of obscene pornography a criminal justice priority and urge your U.S. attorneys to bring prosecutions against the major producers and distributors of such material,” they wrote.

A likely scenario

Now we will wait to see how Barr responds to the representatives’ request. But, if Barr’s own history as attorney general tells us anything, it is that he will be likely to take this matter seriously.

Just during Barr’s brief duration as Trump’s attorney general, the Justice Department has already made several child pornography busts, including one that captured over 300 lawbreakers in October.

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