Hawaii Democrat representative Tulsi Gabbard blasted convicted hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett and said his “lies are a slap in the face of actual victims of bigotry.”
“Jussie Smollett was rightly found guilty by a jury of his peers,” the congresswoman wrote on Twitter. “But he has not yet been sentenced. His lies are a slap in the face of actual victims of bigotry. He should be sentenced to the fullest extent of the law to serve as an example & warning to potential future hoaxers.”
Jussie Smollett was rightly found guilty by a jury of his peers. But he has not yet been sentenced. His lies are a slap in the face of actual victims of bigotry. He should be sentenced to the fullest extent of the law to serve as an example & warning to potential future hoaxers. pic.twitter.com/mHZVTUVBCj
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) December 14, 2021
In the video Gabbard added to the tweet, she says:
“White Jussie Smollett has rightly been found guilty by a jury of his peers, he’s not yet received his sentence. What he did, lying about being attacked because of his race, Jussie Smollett has spit in the face of real victims of bigotry and he needs to apologize. He needs to apologize to the American people, and he should be sentenced to the fullest extent of the law to serve as an example, and to send a very strong message to anyone who thinks about pulling a hoax like this in the future.”
Last week, a jury found the former Empire star guilty on five of six charges in a case where he was accused of staging an anti-gay, racist attack on himself in Chicago early in 2019.
The verdict came after a week-long trial in which two brothers testified that Smollett recruited them to fake an attack on him in downtown Chicago. Smollett has steadfastly denied the claims he staged the attack, but the brothers told prosecutors that Smollett orchestrated the hoax and directed them to put a noose around his neck and rough him up. They also said Smollett wanted video of the hoax made public via social media.
Smollett told police in several interviews that he was attacked by two white (or pale) men in red baseball caps. He added that the men yelled homophobic slurs at him, and doused him in an unknown chemical. But investigators found no video evidence of two white men walking anywhere in an area thoroughly blanketed by city surveillance cameras. Police did, though, see video of the two brothers walking near where Smollett claimed the attack occurred.
Smollett was ultimately pronounced guilty of five counts. The class 4 felony carries a prison sentence of up to three years, but some analysts assume he will be sentenced to probation and community service.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.