Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who spent two years calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment and told followers to harass Republicans in public, is glad the case against Jussie Smollett was dropped.
While accepting the Chairman’s Award at the annual NAACP Image Awards — an award Smollett himself was nominated for after the charges against him were dropped — Waters praised the Chicago State’s Attorney’s office for their decision to let Smollett off the hook for allegedly orchestrating a fake hate crime against himself.
"It’s the correct thing that the charges were dropped," Waters told an Extra TV reporter backstage. "First of all, we probably will never know all of the details. We’ve heard a lot of information. No one was hurt — that is, physically, killed, shot — he never committed a crime before, he forfeited the bail and it’s this kind of situation where they close the case all over the country every day. I have learned this isn't unusual."
Smollett did not attend the awards ceremony, despite being nominated. The 17 felony counts against him were dropped after he completed 16 hours of community service and forfeited his $10,000 bond.
Waters further commented to Extra that she hopes Smollett will continue to be “successful” after this stunt. She said Smollett’s case gained "a lot of attention because of who he is — he’s an extremely talented man who people have come to love because he is on TV. I’m hopeful that he will go on with his career and be successful."
Well, that, and the fact that he accused Trump supporters of the attack.
Waters also said she hasn’t spoken with Smollett since the charges against him were dropped, but “would love to see him, and I am looking forward to seeing him very soon."
Smollett alleged at the end of January that two white men wearing Make America Great Again hats had attacked him at 2 a.m. in Chicago during a polar vortex. He claimed the men shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him and declared, “This is MAGA country!” He called police, who investigated and discovered the two men were of Nigerian descent, wore plain red hats, and that Smollett knew them and had allegedly paid them for the attack. Smollett also appears to have sent himself a threatening letter days before the alleged attack.
As for Waters, her support for Smollett is unsurprising. For two years she called for Trump to be impeached, and only recently admitted there was no longer a point to the calls after Special Counsel Robert Mueller ended his investigation without indicting the president or finding evidence of collusion with Russia.
Last summer, Waters also called on her supporters to publicly harass Trump administration officials if they are seen “in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere."
Waters has also bragged that she threatens Trump supporters “all the time.”
“I did not threaten his constituents, his supporters. I do that all the time, but I didn’t do it that time,” she said of her previous calls for harassment.