From an outsider’s perspective, the case against Josh Duggar seems very straightforward:
A multi-pronged investigation led authorities to the IP address of the computer that Josh used in his office at the used car dealership where he worked.
Said computer was found to contain sexually explicit photos and videos depicting children as young as 18 months old.
This, of course, is not the first time that Josh has been shown to be a sexual predator with a depraved interest in very young children.
So when Josh goes to trial in November, his legal team will fight to muddy the waters and make the situation appear more complex than it is.
The jury will see through this nonsense and find him guilty, and the judge — recognizing Josh’s appalling behavior has continued largely because of the lack of consequences the 33-year-old has faced — will sentence him to the maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars.
This is how Duggar critics like to imagine the process playing out, and it’s comforting to think that justice will be served in this manner.
But whenever Jim Bob Duggar is involved, you have to anticipate some sort of sketchy attempt to game the system and secure the best possible outcome for his offspring.
Especially when doing so might allow JB to save his own reputation.
Many Duggar critics now believe that Jim Bob will persuade Josh to accept a plea deal before his case goes to trial.
This would almost certainly involve serving some prison time, but not the 20 years Josh faces if the sentencing judge decides to throw the book at him.
No doubt Josh is dreading the prospect of going to prison and being forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
But as many have pointed out, Jim Bob might see this as his last chance to preserve what little remains of the family empire.
Pointing to one of the many articles that have been written about Josh’s upcoming trial, one Reddit user suggested that Jim Bob will pressure his eldest son to plead guilty in order to spare the rest of the family months of negative press.
“And this right here is a prime example of why I think Jim Bob will do absolutely any and everything to avoid Josh taking this to trial,” a Reddit user noted.
“Josh goes to trial, there are going to be days and weeks of articles like this," the commenter continued.
"Specifics coming out, every detail written about. … Anything there is to know about what growing up in the Duggar house and IBLP was really like, outside of the TV cameras.”
“If Josh takes the plea, he’ll be able to avoid completely crushing what’s left of the Duggar ’empire,’” another Reddit user chimed in.
“I do, for my own selfish reasons, [hope] for this all to go to trial so we can just see the whole facade of the Duggar family fall.”
Josh’s lawyers have had the start of his trial pushed back from July to November, ostensibly so that they would have more time to prepare.
But some critics think Jim Bob just wanted to buy more time to nudge his son toward taking a plea deal.
Josh’s lawyers might even be siding with Jim Bob, as it seems impossible for Josh to beat these charges.
But like all Duggars, Josh believes that God is on his side at all times — which might be enough for him to take his chances in court.