VP Kamala Harris’ 2019 Jussie Smollett defense remains after actor’s hate crime hoax conviction, failed appeal

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Vice President Kamala Harris’ 2019 post calling Jussie Smollett a victim of attempted “modern day lynching” is still online despite the actor losing his conviction appeal Friday and facing the likelihood of going back to prison.

An Illinois appeals court on Friday upheld Smollett’s previous conviction on five of the six charges of disorderly conduct in 2021. Smollett had claimed he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack by two men who were wearing ski masks in January 2019.

While police searched for the suspects, an investigation into Smollett led to charges that he planned the whole attack and lied to police about it.

He was sentenced to 150 days in jail, 30 months felony probation, as well as $120,106 restitution to the City of Chicago and a fine of $25,000.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT’S CONVICTION UPHELD BY ILLINOIS APPEALS COURT

Harris, who was a senator when the incident happened, wrote on X, then called Twitter, that Smollett is “one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.”

“This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate,” Harris wrote.

Following Friday’s decision, Holly Baird, a representative for Smollett, told Fox News Digital that the case would be appealed to the Supreme Court.

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“We wish to highlight that the decision was divided, with Justice Lyle offering a detailed analysis in favor of Smollett,” Baird said. “We are preparing to escalate this matter to the Supreme Court, armed with a substantial body of evidence.”

Special Prosecutor Dan. K. Webb said in a Friday statement that he was pleased with the court’s decision.

Jussie Smollett's mugshot

“As the appellate court noted, Mr. Smollett ‘challenge[d] virtually every aspect of’ the prosecution, and the appellate court correctly rejected each and every one of those challenges,” Webb said. “Today’s decision is a validation of Winston & Strawn’s tireless work on this matter and a resounding victory for justice. We are proud to have prevailed in a case that, we believe, can help restore the public’s confidence in the Cook County justice system.”

If Smollet’s next appeal fails, he will be required to serve the rest of his jail sentence.

Harris’ office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

Fox News’ Lauryn Overhultz and Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.

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