Moments after the jury delivered actor Jussie Smollett's guilty verdict for a hate crime hoax, conservatives immediately began cracking jokes and reminiscing about liberals' reactions when the allegations first emerged.
A Chicago jury on Thursday found the onetime Empire actor guilty on five out of six counts of lying to police after prosecutors said he faked a racist and homophobic attack against himself in 2019. Smollett's defense attorney said he plans to appeal the conviction.
At the time, prominent political figures sympathized with Smollett's claims, while others were suspicious. Commentators pulled out old tweets from those who viewed the alleged attack as a reckoning on racism in the United States during the Trump administration.
JUSSIE SMOLLETT FOUND GUILTY OF LYING TO POLICE AND STAGING HATE CRIME
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro joked that the justice system protected minorities by convicting Smollett's "attacker," while satirical news website the Babylon Bee made a joke about the victim and attacker being the same person.
Tonight, Jussie Smollett can rest knowing that his attacker has been convicted.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 9, 2021
Cruel: Jussie Smollett Will Be Forced To Share A Jail Cell With His Attacker https://t.co/FSgTn67Slr— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) December 9, 2021
Author J.D. Vance said people should remember everyone who was fooled by the hoax, saying they are "not to be trusted."
Remember the people who fell for the Jussie Smollett hoax. Not to be trusted.— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) December 9, 2021
Others retweeted prominent figures' initial reactions, including those from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Well Reverend Al. You should be at Peace in knowing that Jussie Smollett's attacker has been found guilty. https://t.co/t0HYID4R2x— Diamond and Silk® (@DiamondandSilk) December 10, 2021
Democrat Joe Biden promoting Jussie Smollett’s hate crime hoax: https://t.co/gcjlN9bVTT— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 9, 2021
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Since Jussie Smollett was found guilty... nows a good time to repost this classic Kamala tweet... pic.twitter.com/9ZbCiV2h0E— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) December 10, 2021
On the other side of the aisle, commentators said conservatives shouldn't be too smug about the verdict because of problems they say stem from conservative policies and values.
An MSNBC post from The ReidOut Blog writer Ja'han Jones said those on the right shouldn't celebrate the verdict because of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
John Pavlovitz, a left-leaning Christian faith leader, said Smollett should be held accountable for crimes while also saying Republicans should face repercussions for election fraud claims and vaccine skepticism during the pandemic.
Yes, Jussie Smollett faked a hate crime. He should and is being held legally accountable. (Also, no one died.)— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) December 10, 2021
Republicans faked election fraud and the dangers of vaccines, 800,000 Americans have died and our Democracy is in the balance.
They need to be held accountable, too.