Earlier this week, we reported that Josh Duggar has refused the plea deal offered to him by federal prosecutors.
The deadline to accept such a deal was October 18, and Josh let the date come and go without working entering a guilty plea.
In most cases, that would mean he missed his opportunity to accept a shorter sentence and will now take his chances in court.
But there’s a chance that Josh could still work out an eleventh hour deal that would allow him to avoid spending the next two decades behind bars.
According to a new report from the New York Post, the judge in Josh’s case signed a plea deal in July indicatiing that he can still make a plea deal with the defendant, provided he believes he has “exceptionally” good cause to grant it.
The affidavit doesn’t go into any details with regard to what would constitute “exceptionally” good cause.
In all likelihood, intentionally vague language was used to allow the judge a great deal of leeway in terms of his requirements.
Prosecutors would almost certainly prefer that Josh accept a plea deal, thus avoiding a long and messy trial and the possibility of a hung jury or an acquittal.
But there’s only so much that they can do in this scenario.
With the start of the trial just over five weeks away, Josh would need to pursue a plea deal in order to take advantage of this final loophole.
And based on what we’ve seen so far, it seems unlikely that he’ll do so.
Insiders say Josh is still confident that he’ll beat the charges against him.
Several key members of his family — including his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, and his wife, Anna — still believe that Josh is innocent and that the truth will come out during his trial.
In fact, sources say Anna believes that Josh was framed by the Biden administration and would never have been arrested if Donald Trump had been re-elected.
But obviously, Josh’s lawyers won’t attempt such a ridiculous argument in court, and it looks as though they may be running out of options.
The defense filed five motions to have evidence dismissed in the hope that a lack of evidence would force prosecutors to drop their case before it even went to trial.
Their claims that evidence had been mishandled or gathered illegally seemed to be the foundation of their strategy.
Now, however, all five of their motions have been denied, and it’s unclear what sort of strategy Josh’s lawyers will pursue going forward.
Whatever the case, Josh is now faced with a difficult decision:
While the details of the plea deal that have been offered to him have been kept under wraps, it would definitely include several years in a federal prison, which is probably not a very appealing prospect to Josh right now.
The alternative, however, is for Josh to fight the charges and hope that he’s acquitted by a jury.
If he’s found guilty, Josh could face up to 20 years behind bars.
Further complicating the matter is that entering a guilty plea means accepting accountability, a move that would do irreparable damage to the Duggar family’s already-battered reputation.
It seems insane that Josh would risk serving 20 years behind bars in order to avoid angering his father.
But then, just about everything about the Duggar family seems insane these days.