Kamala’s Confusion

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Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), one of the Democrats’ 2020 presidential hopefuls, was a district attorney in San Francisco, attorney general of California, and author of Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer. For all this knowledge and experience, when the Cook County State Attorney’s office sealed records and dropped 16 felony charges against actor Jussie Smollett earlier this week, Harris responded, “To be perfectly honest, I’m completely confused. I don’t understand. I don’t know.”

The presidential hopeful, who rose through the ranks by a process of poontronage, did have cause to be puzzled. As Andrew Napolitano told Fox News it was “almost unheard of” for the government to indict someone then decline to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt.

Those who remain confused might find enlightenment in the Monty Python sketch about the notorious Piranha brothers, Doug and Dinsdale.

Stig O’Tracy (Eric Idle) fell afoul of the brothers but furiously denied that Dinsdale nailed his head to the floor. But as the interviewer (Terry Jones) explains, “the police have film of Dinsdale actually nailing your head to the floor.”

“Oh yeah, he did that,” O’Tracy concedes. “Well he had to, didn’t he? I mean there was nothing else he could do, be fair. I mean, he didn’t want to nail my head to the floor. I had to insist. He wanted to let me off.”

In similar style, Chicago police had the $3,500 check Jussie Smollett wrote to two Nigerian men as payment to beat him up, which prompted NBA great Charles Barkley to quip, “do not commit crimes with checks.” Smollett claimed the attackers were white racist homophobes proclaiming, “this is MAGA country,” in the actor’s upscale Chicago neighborhood.

As Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson lamented, with the charges dropped and records sealed, the evidence was not going to be presented in court. Worse, Smollett was claiming, “I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one . . . I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of.” So in his own mind, the actor was an innocent. That recalls a movie character who made the same claim.

In “The Godfather,” mob soldier Carlo Rizzi throws a beating on his wife Connie. As Connie’s brother, Sonny Corleone (James Caan), rushes to the scene, he is assassinated by members of a rival gang. The setup does not fool Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) and later in the story, he confronts Carlo.

“Don’t tell me you are innocent,” Michael says, “because it insults my intelligence and makes me very angry.”

Across the country, people of all persuasions are angry that Jussie Smollett will not face trial and still portrays himself as the innocent victim of an actual hate crime. Kamala Harris was just confused, but she shouldn’t have been.

In February, Harris and fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) backed the “Justice for Victims of Lynching Act,” legislation that would “criminalize lynching for the first time in American history.” Harris said, “Lynchings were acts of violence—they were horrendous acts of violence, and they were motivated by racism.” As Booker explained, “lynching is not a relic of a painful past—it is a present and pernicious evil that we still have yet to confront.”

True to form, Jussie Smollett claimed that the MAGA racists hung a noose around his neck as they poured bleach on the actor and assailed him with racial slurs. Both Booker and Harris claimed the attack on Smollett was “an attempted modern-day lynching.” Any observer could be forgiven for seeing Smollett’s gambit as a dramatization of the Harris-Booker legislation, plus the Democrat narrative that the election of Donald Trump launched a tide of hatred.

As a producer, the actor Smollett was something of a bust. But he got plenty of help from a crack post-production team. Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx is a George Soros protégé and a favorite of the group Reclaim Chicago. This group is on record saying the “Jussie Smollett case is a sad commentary on our celebrity-obsessed society as well the fact that real hate crimes against Black LGBTQ in Chicago each year go without the same attention from police and the media.”

As the case played out, Foxx got a call from Tina Tchen, a former advisor to President Obama and chief of Staff for First Lady Michelle Obama, both big fans of Jussie Smollett. It wasn’t clear whether Tchen, who earned her law degree at Northwestern, had a client in the case, but she called Foxx on behalf of “the alleged victim’s family who had concerns about how the investigation was being characterized in public.”

Foxx claimed she recused herself from the case, but after Smollett walked free, it emerged that the state attorney had recused herself only in a “colloquial” sense, not in any legal manner. So the prosecution was also fake, and at this writing, the hoaxster Smollett and his handlers are still claiming innocence.

People across the country have every right to be angry, but they shouldn’t be confused.

Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

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