‘I think we should leave it up to the judgment of the police chief and the mayor, of course, to give us some better sense of what’s going on. I don’t know…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said she is “completely confused” by Chicago prosecutors’ decision to drop charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollet—only a few weeks after calling Smollett’s fake hate crime “an attempted modern day lynching.”
Smollett was indicted by a grand jury on 16 felony counts after prosecutors accused him of filing a false report with law enforcement, in which he claimed to be the victim of a hate crime.
He said two white men with “Make America Great Again” hats had attacked him, but it was later discovered that Smollett had staged the entire incident.
After being pressed again to weigh in following the bombshell dismissal, Harris elected this time to reserve judgment.
“I’m completely confused. I don’t understand. I don’t know. I don’t know the underlying evidence,” she told CNN. “There’s a sealed document, obviously. I don’t know. I’m at a loss.”
On Tuesday, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said it would not be prosecuting Smollett for staging a fake attack.
“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” the office said in a statement.
Smollett’s claims, which dominated headlines despite an embarrasing run of phony stories attacking Trump and his supporters, included accusations that two Trump supporters attacked him, put a noose around his neck, and poured a chemical substance on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs at him.
But when Chicago police investigated the allegations and discovered that Smollett’s story didn’t add up, Harris attacked law enforcement, saying she was “sad, frustrated, and disappointed” that they would accuse Smollett of lying.
“When anyone makes false claims to police, it not only diverts resources away from serious investigations but it makes it more difficult for other victims of crime to come forward,” she said in a statement at the time. “At the same time, we must speak the truth: hate crimes are on the rise in America.”
When asked what action should be taken against Smollett, Harris told CNN, “We’re going to have to leave it up to the judgment of the prosecutor.”
However, she quickly doubled back and reversed her initial assessment.
“I think we should leave it up to the judgment of the police chief and the mayor, of course, to give us some better sense of what’s going on. I don’t know,” she said.