In the wake of the Smollett verdict, Psaki dodges a question on the 'lessons learned' by Biden and Harris

In the aftermath of Jussie Smollett's guilty conviction, White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged a question about if there are any 'lessons learned' on jumping to judgment when a crime is suspected, instead attempting to shift the emphasis to President Trump.

After staging a bogus hate crime against himself and fraudulently reporting it to police almost three years ago, a jury convicted the disgraced former Empire star guilty on five of six charges of felony disorderly conduct on Thursday.

President Biden and Vice President Harris both voiced support for Smollett when the alleged event was originally revealed in 2019, according to Jacqui Heinrich during a news conference.

At the time, Biden tweeted, “What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country,” adding, “We are with you, Jussie.”

Harris called it an “attempted modern day lynching.”

Heinrich asked if there were “lessons learned on rushing to judgement when a crime is alleged.”

“I think there are lessons learned perhaps for everybody who commented at the time, including former President Trump,” Psaki replied.

The White House press secretary noted that the then-president said of the incident at the time, “I can tell you that it’s horrible. Doesn’t get worse.”

“I would say that we respect the jury’s decision,” Psaki added. “Lying to the police, particularly about something as heinous as a hate crime, is shameful. Instances of that need to be investigated fully and those found guilty need to be punished and false accusations divert valuable police resources away from important investigations. They make it harder for real victims to come forward and be believed.”

She added that “everybody was looking at it at the time” as being important to take accusations of hate crime seriously and to fully investigate such accusations.

“But certainly knowing what we know now, it’s important to also note the danger of lying to police and lying about hate crimes and the fact that it diverts important resources,” she said.

Smollett was found guilty on Thursday of filing a fake police complaint in January 2019 that he was assaulted by two men who screamed racist and homophobic slurs at him and put a rope around his neck. He informed police that the attack happened on a cold Chicago night when he was out getting a Subway sandwich.

After initially investigating the brothers as people of interest, police changed their emphasis to determining if Smollett hired siblings Ola and Abel Osundairo to arrange an assault, which Smollett said happened in the posh suburb of Streeterville. The 39-year-old actor reportedly paid the two guys $3,500 to help him stage a phony hate crime in order to "boost his profession", former Chicago police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said.

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