When Jussie Smollett’s fate was turned over to a jury’s hands on Wednesday, you’d have to look pretty hard to find a big name in his corner.
After all, as special prosecutor Dan Webb told the jury in his closing arguments, there was “overwhelming evidence” the actor concocted a hate-crime hoax in January of 2019 — a hoax that sent Chicago police on a wild goose chase that caused them to expend significant resources in an attempt to catch pro-Trump racist thugs who didn’t actually exist.
Here at The Western Journal, we were on top of the Smollett story from the beginning, calling foul when establishment media was taking his story at face value. We’ll keep on providing this critical commentary even when mainstream outlets refuse to — and you can help our fight by subscribing.
Webb’s closing argument was dead on.
“Besides being against the law, it is just plain wrong to outright denigrate something as serious as a real hate crime and then make sure it involved words and symbols that have such historical significance in our country,” Webb told the jury, according to The Associated Press.
As for Hollywood and liberal politicos, few, if any, were still lending visible support to Smollett, who could face up to three years in prison if he’s convicted. If you look far back enough, however, you can find vocal backing for the actor from the man who is now our country’s president.
On Jan. 29, 2019 — the same day the “attack” against Smollett took place — Biden, who was then running an undeclared campaign for the presidency, talked in a Twitter post about the “hate” that led to the supposed incident and said we couldn’t afford to give it “safe harbor.” Two years and 11 months later, that tweet remains up.
What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie. https://t.co/o8ilPu68CM
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 30, 2019
“What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country,” Biden wrote in a quote-tweet of a New York Times article.
“We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie.”
Biden wasn’t was the only politician who uncritically supported Smollett, an openly gay, black man, in the wake of the events of Jan. 29, 2019. Now-Vice President Kamala Harris, for instance, called it “an attempted modern day lynching” — an even more incendiary conclusion about Smollett’s uncorroborated, dubious-sounding allegations than Biden’s amorphous “hate.”
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
However, Biden’s tweet remains up and it makes an assumption a crime was committed against the actor, not by him. It’s also indicative of a dodgy pattern for the president: An infuriating willingness to put his thumb irresponsibly onto Lady Justice’s scales with ill-considered hot-takes on flashpoint legal matters.
When the case of Derek Chauvin — the Minneapolis police officer charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd — went to the jury earlier this year, the president made it clear what he expected:
President Biden called George Floyd’s family to express his support, saying that he was praying for the “right verdict” in Derek Chauvin’s trial. He defended his decision to weigh in on an unresolved trial, saying he waited until the jury was sequestered. https://t.co/ZWPFtNw69B pic.twitter.com/6Q1yzk7y9C
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 20, 2021
“I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. The evidence is overwhelming in my view,” Biden said. He added that he knew Floyd’s relatives and told reporters “they’re a good family.”
Biden defended the statement by noting he waited until the jury had been sequestered to weigh in. However, as former federal prosecutor and conservative columnist Andrew C. McCarthy noted, that means nothing.
“The fact that the jury was sequestered when Biden spouted off is no excuse. He is a lawyer and former Senate Judiciary Committee chairman who well knows that sequestration does not make jurors impervious to prejudicial publicity,” McCarthy wrote in a New York Post piece.
In the wake of a guilty verdict, Biden called it a “much too rare” conviction of a police officer in the death of a suspect.
“It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see … the systemic racism that is a stain our nation’s soul; the knee on the neck of justice for black Americans; the profound fear and trauma, the pain, the exhaustion that black and brown Americans experience every single day,” Biden said in remarks at the White House on April 20.
One could take away the reasonable assumption the president felt not only was Derek Chauvin guilty of murder, a whole lot more police officers were, too — and, again, he had reasonable expectations of how juries should react.
He was quite a bit more restrained, meanwhile, when the jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial returned a not-guilty verdict last month.
“While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken. I ran on a promise to bring Americans together, because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us,” Biden said in a White House statement.
“I know that we’re not going to heal our country’s wounds overnight, but I remain steadfast in my commitment to do everything in my power to ensure that every American is treated equally, with fairness and dignity, under the law.”
Biden was less restrained when he was a candidate, implying, on separate occasions, that Rittenhouse was a “white supremacist” and “part of a militia coming out of the state of Illinois.”
On the first count, Rittenhouse’s image was included in a Sept. 30, 2020 advertisement which criticized then-President Donald Trump for his “stand back and stand by” remark about the Proud Boys during the final presidential debate.
“There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night,” Biden wrote in a Twitter post, including Rittenhouse with footage of far-right groups, including the tiki-torch marchers from the infamous 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia “Unite the Right” rally.
There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night. pic.twitter.com/Q3VZTW1vUV
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020
Meanwhile, in an August interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Biden admitted to not knowing a whole lot about the Rittenhouse case — and then proceeded to peddle an arrant falsehood about it:
FLASHBACK: Joe Biden claimed Kyle Rittenhouse was a white supremacist a part of a militia group. pic.twitter.com/aOKhhBxpTG
— Mainstream Conservatism (@msconservatism) November 19, 2021
“I don’t know enough to know whether that 17-year-old kid, exactly what he did,” Biden said. “Allegedly he’s part of a militia coming out of the state of Illinois. Have you ever heard the president say one negative thing about white supremacists? Have you ever heard it?”
As you likely now know, Rittenhouse was not a part of a militia
Ironically, it’s now Biden’s White House that’s in the position of refusing to disavow inflammatory remarks — in this case, everything then-candidate Biden said about Rittenhouse. White House press secretary Jen Psaki made it clear the president had no intention of backing down on his rhetoric before the trial, claiming it was all because Biden “believes in condemning hatred, division, and violence.”
DOOCY: “Would the president ever apologize to Kyle Rittenhouse” for calling him a white supremacist?@PressSec: “The president believes in condemning hatred, division, and violence. That’s exactly what was done in that video.” pic.twitter.com/Gvemkkxyk0
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 23, 2021
Unlike other Democrats’ this-didn’t-age-well tweet about Jussie Smollett, Biden’s is from a politician ever-too-willing to lend the power of his name and his office to legal matters he has no business interfering in. For jurors and observers who want to look hard enough, it’s there.
There is, as the prosecution said, “overwhelming evidence” Smollett perpetrated a hoax designed to prey on the left’s preconceptions regarding race, Republicans and Donald Trump.
If the jury agrees, will Joe Biden come out and condemn it? If he actually “believes in condemning hatred, division, and violence,” as Psaki said, he’ll do just that.
Don’t get your hopes up.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.