Even Al Sharpton Is Calling Out Smollett: Should Face ‘Accountability to the Maximum’ if Allegations Are True

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Courtesy Chicago Police Department/Handout via Reuters

The Rev. Al Sharpton, a former White House adviser during Barack Obama’s presidency, hit the airwaves and called out “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, saying that he should face “accountability to the maximum” should the allegations that Smollett staged a hate crime in January be proved true.

On Sunday, Sharpton, a prominent and vocal civil rights activist, decried Smollett’s alleged actions and slammed the actor on his political MSNBC talk show, “Politics Nation.”

“I, among many others when hearing of the report, said that the reports were horrific and that we should come with all that we can come with in law enforcement to find out what happened and the guilty should suffer the maximum,” he said.

Sharpton continued on in the segment, saying he “still maintained” his view and that if Smollett and the others allegedly involved “did in some way perpetuate something that is not true” that they should face “accountability to the maximum.”

Watch the video below:

Sharpton echoed these statements to reporters at a lunch in Harlem with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)

“Whoever is wrong should pay the maximum,” Sharpton said. “If Smollett is wrong, he ought to face accountability to the maximum.”

When asked about the Smollett case, however, Harris — the former California attorney general who, in a tweet, had referred to the alleged assault as a “modern day lynching” — outright ignored reporters, instead opting to rush to her car and giving Sharpton a hug before leaving.

Watch below:

When asked about the tweet at a campaign event on Tuesday, Harris froze and looked to her campaign advisers before saying she thinks “that the facts are still unfolding” and that she was “very concerned” about Smollett’s initial allegation.

She went on to say:

“And it’s something we should all take seriously whenever anyone, um, alleges that kind of behavior, but there should be an investigation. And I think that once the investigation has concluded then we can all comment, but I’m not going to comment until I know the outcome of the investigation.”

Watch below:

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), another Democratic presidential primary candidate, also backtracked from his initial comments regarding the case in which he called the “vicious attack” on Smollett a “modern-day lynching.” Booker said he would “withhold” further comments until after “all the information actually comes out from on-the-record sources.”

Smollett, who is black and gay, was arrested Thursday by Chicago police and charged with filing a false police report as well as felony disorderly conduct.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson blasted Smollett on Thursday, saying in a press conference that Smollett “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”

Watch below:

In January, Smollett approached police and alleged that he was assaulted by two men who lobbed racial and anti-gay slurs at the actor while yelling “This is MAGA country” before pouring bleach on him and tying a noose around his neck.

If found guilty, according to NBC Chicago, Smollett could face up to three years in prison.

What do you think?

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Gee Al, pot/kettle? The name Tawana Brawley also brings to mind a race-baiting hoax that YOU promulgated. Have you paid any penalties or apologized for that?


Smollett should pay restitution to Chicago for the police resources wasted on his lie.

That should be the first step and also include a public apology to those he’s harmed: the city of Chicago for loss of reputation, actual victims of actual hate crimes, and everyone involved in the Empire production, and Trump’s entire electorate who he attempted to smear.

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