Al Sharpton says Jussie Smollett should 'face accountability to the maximum' if attack was staged

Al Sharpton said that “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett should face severe consequences if the truth ultimately shows he fabricated or staged the hate crime assault he says occurred in Chicago last month.

“If it is found that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum,” the MSNBC host and civil rights leader said during a Sunday airing of his program “Politics Nation.”

Sharpton did not define what he meant by “maximum,” but filing a false policy report is a felony in Illinois and punishable by up to three years in prison, “GMA” reported earlier on Monday.

The MSNBC host however clearly stated that he was waiting for all the facts to come in and that whoever was at fault should face justice.

“I among many others when hearing of the reports said the reports were horrific and that we should come with all that we can come with in law enforcement to find out what happened and the guilty should suffer the maximum. I still maintain that,” he said. “Let’s not act like this is some left wing hoax that some are saying on social media. President Trump called this horrible and he’s certainly not a left winger.”

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Jussie Smollett on FOX's Empire
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Jussie Smollett on FOX's Empire
EMPIRE: L-R: Taraji P. Henson and Jussie Smollett in the 'Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Nov. 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: L-R: Taraji P. Henson and director Jussie Smollett in the 'What is Done' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Nov. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Director Jussie Smollett behind the scenes in the 'What is Done' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Nov. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: L-R: Terrence Howard and director Jussie Smollett behind the scenes in the 'What is Done' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Nov. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: L-R: Jussie Smollett and Taraji P. Henson in the 'The Depth of Grief' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 31 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Jussie Smollett in the 'The Depth of Grief' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 31 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: L-R: Bryshere Y. Gray and Jussie Smollett in the 'Love All, Trust a Few' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 17 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: L-R: Jussie Smollett and Bryshere Y. Gray in the 'Pride' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 10 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: L-R: Jussie Smollett and Bryshere Y. Gray in the 'Pride' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 10 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Jussie Smollett in the 'Pay For Their Presumptions' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 3 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: L-R: Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Gray, and Trai Byers in the 'The Empire Unposessd' season finale episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, May 23 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: L-R: Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon, Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon, Bryshere Y. Gray as Hakeem Lyon, Jussie Smollett as Jamal Lyon and Trai Byers as Andre Lyon in Season Five of EMPIRE premiering Wednesday, Sept. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Pictured L-R: Bryshere Gray, Jussie Smollett and Andre Royo in the 'Slave to Memory' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Dec. 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Pictured L-R: Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe and Jussie Smollett in the 'Bleeding War' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Pictured L-R: Terrel Carter and Jussie Smollett in the 'Evil Manners' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 11 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Pictured L-R: Jussie Smollett and Gabourey Sidibe in the 'Full Circle' episode of Wednesday, Oct. 4 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
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On Jan. 29, Smollett first reported the attack to police saying that two men in MAGA hats and ski masks attacked him early in the morning near a Subway sandwich shop, shouting racial slurs and the line, “This is MAGA country.” For weeks, however, cops struggled to crack the case. Two persons of interest identified and arrested by the police were later released.

New reporting from CNN and local Chicago news sources later have said Smollett staged the attack with two person’s of interest — one of whom is known to have appeared in Empire as an extra. Reps for the Chicago PD told TheWrap Monday that they were “not in a position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what’s been unofficially released.”

In a weekend statement, attorneys for the actor, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, strongly denied the reporting from CNN and elsewhere saying Smollett “has been further victimized” by the claims.

Read original story Al Sharpton Says Jussie Smollett Should ‘Face Accountability to the Maximum’ If Attack Was Staged At TheWrap

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