In November 2019, federal agents obtained a search warrant and raided the used car dealership in Arkansas at which Josh Duggar worked.
They did so because forensic evidence pointed to child p0rnography having been downloaded from an IP address that matched a computer there.
At one point, these agents spoke to Duggar for 51 minutes, asking the former reality star and admitted cheater was he knew about these allegedly illegal materials of children under 12 years old.
We now know exactly what Josh said to them in response.
The Daily Mail has acquired the audio of Duggar's conversation with authorities inside of his workplace office just over two years ago.
This was the moment where agents Gerald Faulkner and Howard Aycock spoke with the father of seven by his own volition.
Suffice it to say that he did not do himself any favors.
Before they had even told him anything about the basis investigation, Duggar can be heard on this tape asking:
Has someone been downloading child pornography?
That is a bizarre thing to ask under any circumstances, but especially unprompted and at your place of work.
At this point, the agents read Duggar his rights.
They asked if they could make an audio recording of the ensuing interview.
This is the recording which the aforementioned outlet then obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.
"I own this business. I also do some real estate as well," Duggar explains to Faulkner and Aycock.
He was sounding calm and confident at the outset of the interview.
"My dad has commercial properties so I help with the management."
"I dabble in a lot of things. This is, you know, this is probably my primary income as far as that goes."
The group is sitting in a police vehicle for this talk, which quickly turns to Josh's familiarity with computers, cell phones and technology.
Does he, for example, know about "peer2peer" programs such as Tor Browser that can be used to anonymously share movies, music and other files?
"I mean, I'm familiar with, I guess you could say," Duggar responds.
Asked how many of his machines in the car dealership have such software (which can also be used to hide files on thhe Dark Web) downloaded on to them, he replies:
"We upload stuff for our cars and things like that," Josh claimed.
"I've had a friend of mine that came and set us up with file sharing so we could do, you know, more encrypted type stuff."
"He just said, it's safer that way."
Faulkner proceeds to tell Duggar that part of his job entailed "saving kids" after "Internet tips" alert his team to the presence of child pornography on a device.
This is about when Josh starts to panic.
"Is that what you're saying? Is that what you're saying is going on?' he repeats.
"Is there some, is there something going on, on my devices," a panicking Josh asks.
"Where that's been something accessed or something downloaded or uploaded or something like that?"
Yeah, something like that.
Duggar, who was convicted on two counts of child sex abuse last month, continues to stumble and stammer from there.
"Does it, does it include, so did it mark this IP address? Is that basically what you're saying? Yes. Okay," he says to the agents.
"So does it, so I guess in the scope of your investigation, is there going to be, I guess, I mean, you'll narrow it down?"
Faulkner then issues a warning to Duggar.
He cautions him by explaining that the "guys running around... are computer forensic analysts" and then will find any explicit material, even if it's been deleted.
(At trial, we learned that they did just that)
As the conversation turns ever more tense, Faulkner tells his suspect how a task force investigator detected graphic images and videos being shared in the Western Arkansas area.
The investigator was able to connect then directly with Duggar's office computer.
"These are somebody's little boy or little girl at the end of the day. Our main objective is to find out who's doing it," Faulkner says.
"I appreciate the work you guys do," replies Duggar, continuing as follows:
"I guess I have, I mean, I have quite a few questions about it, but I don't know, you know, how much you can divulge."
"I'm just, I'm curious, you're saying there's images being uploaded or images being downloaded."
Faulkner reveals very few details, but makes it clear to Duggar that this is only real chance to confess before things get messier and more complicated:
"Once we leave here today, it's the end of our conversation."
Duggar chooses NOT to cooperate further.
He didn't stop there, adding in a stuttering voice:
"I've watched my friends, you know, answer things and they get them for conspiracy or for something."
Incredibly, Duggar adds at this point:
And I'm just, I'm not, federal statutes are broad and there's a lot of things to it. And I'm not gonna say anything that's gonna incriminate me or anything at all.
I'm not denying guilt and I'm not, I'm not saying that I'm, you know, I mean, as far as anything goes, I don't wanna be, I don't wanna say the wrong thing.
I don't wanna say that I'm guilty or not. I'm just not saying, you know, on searching, finding, accessing inappropriate content at some point, right, at any point in my life.
While this discussion took place, the FBI's computer forensics experts discovered the answers they were seeking when they examined Duggar's HP computer.
They found it had been set up with a dual-operating system that created a partition.
It was behind this partition where Duggar was able to hide the many videos and images of children being assaulted that eventually led to his conviction.
They also determined this section of the device could only accessed by rebooting and entering the password intel1988 ...
... Which just happens to be the same code as Duggar's online banking account and his family Instagram and Twitter accounts.
What a gross idiot.
Federal agents, of courrse, returned on April 2021 to arrest the 19 Kids and Counting alum on charges of receipt and possession of child pornography.
He was found guilty by a federal jury in December and faces up to 20 years imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000 on each count.
Last we heard, Duggar has filed an appeal and is asking for either and acquittal or a new trial.
Assuming this appeal fails, he will be officialy sentenced some time early this spring.