A DOJ official highlighted the Jussie Smollett hoax. Now she is running a seminar on identifying hate crimes.

A Justice Department official who pushed the Jussie Smollett hoax will host a forum next month on how to identify hate crimes.

Kristen Clarke, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, will kick off a Fordham University symposium Nov. 9 titled “Unite Against Hate: Identifying, Reporting, and Preventing Hate Crimes.” She will speak alongside two US attorneys on “how to identify, report and prevent crimes/incidents and discrimination”, according to a Department of Justice. announcement of the event.

But Clarke may not be the best choice for the forum. In 2019, she touted Smollett’s false claim that two white Trump supporters attacked him in Chicago while shouting homophobic and racist slurs at him. The actor, who is black and gay, claimed the men shouted “this is MAGA country” as they wrapped a noose around his neck and sprayed him with bleach. Smollett was later convicted of fabricating the incident. Two of Smollett’s friends, both black, said the actor paid them $3,500 to stage the attack.

Clarke defended Smollett on social media after reporting the incident to police on January 28, 2019.

She claimed on January 29, 2019, that Smollett had “been the subject of a racist and homophobic attack.” She wrote that “2 white men wearing ski masks attacked [Smollett]put a rope around his neck, and poured bleach on him and while they shouted insults.”

Days later, she accused the Chicago Police Department of “demonizing survivors” by searching for Smollett’s cellphone as part of its investigation.

“This is NOT how you treat survivors of a hate crime. Stop demonizing survivors and casting doubt on their claims if you want communities to trust that you will take #HateCrime seriously,” he said. she declared. tweeted on February 1, 2019.

Clarke suggested race played a role in an Illinois state judge’s appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Chicago District Attorney Kim Foxx’s decision to drop charges against Smollett. Foxx, who is black, dropped the charges after private conversations with a representative of Smollett’s family.

“Prosecutors use their discretion every day. But when a duly elected black prosecutor, Kim Foxx, uses her discretion to move on in the Jussie Smollett case, that’s a different story,” Clarke said. . said on February 23, 2020. “A special prosecutor is appointed to undermine his power.”

Clarke has made inflammatory comments before.

In April 2020, she said protesters who wanted to fire coronavirus czar Anthony Fauci “should be publicly identified and named, barred from treatment in any public hospital”. She said they would have to be “denied insurance coverage” if they fell ill with coronavirus.

Clarke said during her Senate confirmation hearing last year that she regretted her statements about the Smollett prank. Republicans asked Clarke about his criticism of Chicago police and his role in the Smollett prank during his confirmation hearing, noting that Clarke oversees hate crimes and police misconduct investigations as the division’s chief. civil rights.

“Like many others, I fell for Mr. Smollett’s hoax and, in retrospect, regret making that statement,” she said in a questionnaire for her confirmation. “Hoaxes distract from the real incidents of hate crimes that pose a growing threat to our country.”

The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.

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