Psaki: ‘Lying to the Police Particularly About Something as Heinous as a Hate Crime Is Shameful’

By Melanie Arter | December 10, 2021 | 5:33pm EST
Jussie Smollett (C) arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court Building for closing arguments in his trial on disorderly conduct charges, on December 8 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. - Smollett on December 6 denied fabricating a hate crime against himself during his trial in Chicago, a case that sparked a wave of national outrage. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Jussie Smollett (C) arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court Building for closing arguments in his trial on disorderly conduct charges, on December 8 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty Thursday of five counts of disorderly conduct in the hate crimes hoax trial, and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the takeaway is that “false accusations divert valuable police resources away from important investigations.”

Fox News White House Jacqui Heinrich pointed out that both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris rushed to judgment in the case, believing that Smollett was actually attacked by Trump supporters as the actor alleged.


“One quick one on the Jussie Smollett verdict. Both the president and vice president tweeted at the time of the attack— The president tweeted, ‘What happened to Jussie Smollett must never be tolerated in this country. We’re with you Jussie.’ The vice president called it an attempted modern day lynching. Since the guilty verdict, are there any lessons learned here on rushing to judgment when a crime is alleged?” Heinrich asked.

“I think there are lessons learned perhaps for everybody who commented at the time, including former President Trump. I wish April Ryan was here, because I think she asked him the question. Do I see her somewhere? Or no. Okay. She just left. Where he said, I can tell you that it’s horrible. It doesn’t get worse, in response to her question about Jussie Smollett at the time,” Psaki said.

“I would say that we respect the jury’s decision. 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,” the press secretary said.

“They make it harder for real victims to come forward and be believed. If you look back at the time, it’s also true and important to note that accusations of hate crimes should be taking seriously, and they need to be fully investigated, but that’s where everybody was looking at it at the time, 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.

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