Harris Says She’s ‘Completely Confused’ Over Smollett Charges

REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

Mike Brest Reporter
Font Size:

Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris confessed during a Tuesday interview with Wolf Blitzer that she was “completely confused” after the charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett were dropped.

Smollett, 36, was charged with 16 counts for his role in allegedly orchestrating a fake hate crime in January, but the charges were unexpectedly dropped Tuesday morning.


“To be perfectly honest with you, Wolf, I’m completely confused. I don’t understand. I don’t know the underlying evidence. There’s a sealed document, obviously. I don’t know. I’m at a loss. I think we’re going to have to leave it up to the judgment of the prosecutor,” Harris answered. “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.”

Blitzer responded, “If you’re confused, all of us are confused. And you heard Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He’s confused as well. And the Cook County prosecutor, he says didn’t even inform him or the police commissioner that they were to drop these charges.”

Harris answered:

But I think there’s a point that the mayor made that I would like to emphasize because I’m seeing it around the country and it’s a very real issue, which is the seriousness of hate crime. Over the last two years, we have seen a growth of hate crime, be it in terms of race, be it religion, anti-Semitic crime, Islamophobic crime, crimes against — that are born out of homophobia and transphobia. We have seen an increase around our country, and frankly around the world. And we cannot play games with it. We have to take it very seriously because it obviously can result in lethal consequences if we don’t take it seriously.

Following Smollett reporting the alleged attack to the police, Harris called it a “modern-day lynching.” (RELATED: Jussie Smollett On MAGA Hats: ‘I Never Said That!’)

Then, after Smollett was charged, she released a statement expressing her frustration and disappointment.

“Like most of you, I’ve seen the reports about Jussie Smollett, and I’m sad, frustrated, and disappointed. 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,” her statement began.

Follow Mike on Twitter