Washington, DC – President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) promoted the racist Jussie Smollett hoax on social media multiple times.
Kristen Clarke, who much of her legal career in the division she has been tapped to run, tweeted her thoughts on the attack on then-Empire star Smollett the same day he reported he had been attacked on a Chicago Street by racist Trump supporters.
“Jussie Smollett subjected to a racist and homophobic attack. 2 white men wearing ski masks attacked him, put a rope around his neck, and poured bleach on him and as they yelled slurs,” Clarke tweeted on Jan. 29. “Prayers to @JussieSmollett for a speedy recovery from this hate crime.”
She shared an article about the attack on Smollett beneath her comment.
Jussie Smollett subjected to a racist and homophobic attack.
2 white men wearing ski masks attacked him, put a rope around his neck, and poured bleach on him and as they yelled slurs.
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) January 29, 2019
Smollett told police on Jan. 29, 2019 that he had been attacked by two white supporters of President Donald Trump on his way home from a Subway restaurant.
He claimed the men called him homophobic and anti-black slurs and told him “This is MAGA country” as they beat him up and put a noose around his neck. He also said they threw a chemical on him.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson explained at a press conference the day of Smollett’s arrest that that police considered the actor a victim up until Ola and Abel Osundairo returned from Nigeria to Chicago and were taken into police custody, and then the investigation “spun in a totally different direction.”
“We gave him the benefit of the doubt up until that 47th hour. But when we discovered the actual motive, quite frankly, it pissed everybody off,” he explained.
He said the brothers told police that Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, with another $500 after they returned from a planned trip to Nigeria.
“We have the check that he used to pay them,” Superintendent Johnson said.
But despite the evidence, Clarke weighed in again in support of Smollett, posting her criticism of the Chicago Police Department.
“To be clear — This is a BAD move by the Chicago Police Department,” Clarke tweeted on Feb. 1, 2019. “This is NOT how you treat survivors of a hate crime. Stop demonizing survivors and casting doubt on their claims if you want communities to trust that you will take #HateCrime seriously. @StopHateProj”
To be clear — This is a BAD move by the Chicago Police Department. This is NOT how you treat survivors of a hate crime. Stop demonizing survivors and casting doubt on their claims if you want communities to trust that you will take #HateCrime seriously. @StopHateProj https://t.co/RIvF2tltly
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) February 1, 2019
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced on March 8 that Smollett had been indicted by a grand jury on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct.
But then on March 26, the State’s Attorney’s Office unceremoniously announced all charges against the “Empire” actor had been dropped.
Cook County Judge Michael Toomin in June of 2019 appointed a special counsel to investigate what actually happened after information about Smollett hiding evidence and the involvement of Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, Tina Tchen, in the case.
Special Prosecutor Dan Webb indicted Smollett again on Feb. 11, 2020 on charges related to his false reporting of the hoax attack to police, WFLD reported.
Clarke did not approve of Toomin’s intervention in the case and took to social media yet again to share her opinion and defend the highly controversial Cook County State’s Attorney.
“Prosecutors use their discretion every day,” she tweeted on Feb. 23, 2020. “But when a duly elected Black prosecutor, Kim Foxx, uses her discretion to move on from the Jussie Smolett matter, it’s a different story. A special prosecutor is brought in to undermine her power.”
Prosecutors use their discretion every day.
But when a duly elected Black prosecutor, Kim Foxx, uses her discretion to move on from the Jussie Smolett matter, it’s a different story. A special prosecutor is brought in to undermine her power. https://t.co/hpysYE6eCU
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) February 23, 2020
President Biden’s pick for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights has not walked back her racially-charged posts.
The Congressional Black Caucus has said it doesn’t expect pushback on Clarke’s nomination from the Senate Judiciary Committee, The Hill reported.
U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) has expressed concern about Clarke’s views on anti-Semitism because she invited author Tony Martin to speak to the Harvard Black Students’ Association in 1994.
Martin’s work has frequently been criticized as anti-Semitic, according to The Hill.
Clarke has since denounced Martin’s work.
“Giving someone like him a platform, it’s not something I would do again,” Clarke has said. “I unequivocally denounce anti-Semitism.”
But Republicans are still concerned about some of Clarke’s racially-charged writing when she was still a student at Harvard, The Post Millennial reported.
Clarke wrote in the Harvard Crimson that there are “genetic differences between blacks and whites” and claimed “blacks sit, crawl, and walk sooner than whites.”
She has also written that black people have “greater mental, physical, and spiritual abilities” because of having more melanin, The Post Millennial reported.