- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A Republican senator said Wednesday that the federal Justice Department should look into bringing charges against actor Jussie Smollett after local prosecutors in Chicago expunged their case against him.

Sen. John Kennedy called the locals’ move “another example of Hollywood privilege,” and said it’s worth finding some way to make sure the actor doesn’t get away without some punishment.

Mr. Kennedy, a first-term Louisiana senator and member of the Judiciary Committee, said ordinary Americans accused of the same behavior “would be put under the jail.”

“Since Chicago prosecutors refuse to do their job, the U.S. attorney should review the case for violations of federal crimes,” he said. “I don’t buy that Mr. Smollett should be excused for his crime because it was nonviolent. That’s not criminal justice reform.”

Mr. Smollett initially reported he was the victim of a hate crime, saying white Trump supporters targeted him for being black and gay. Police investigated and instead concluded the actor staged the incident to try to boost his television career.

Even the prosecutor who dropped the charges said Mr. Smollett was guilty. The prosecutor said he erased the charges because of Mr. Smollett’s lack of a criminal background, among other factors.

Mr. Kennedy said that was not the way it is supposed to work.

“Justice exists when people receive their just desserts. Committing a crime should have consequences. This was not justice,” he said.

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