Smollett Conspiracy Theories Target George Soros

By William.Sommer@thedailybeast.com (Will Sommer)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty

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A couple dozen protesters gathered in Chicago yesterday to demonstrate against the decision to drop charges against former Empire actor Jussie Smollett for his alleged hate crime hoax. But amid the signs criticizing Smollett and prosecutor Kim Foxx, there was one surprising name that drew protesters’ ire: billionaire Democratic financier George Soros.

Soros has nothing to do with the charges being dropped against Smollett, nor any other discernible connection to the actor. But that hasn’t stopped the rumor that Soros and other top Democrats are pulling the strings in the Chicago prosecutor’s office over Smollett from circulating widely on the right.

In Soros’s case, the Smollett “connection” comes in the form of $408,000 Soros gave to support Foxx’s election campaign in 2016. Those donations came nearly three years before the Smollett “MAGA Country” incident, but that hasn’t stopped various hoaxers on the right from suggesting that Soros paid off Foxx to let Smollett go or is otherwise involved.

MAGA personality Jack Murphy falsely tweeted that Soros gave Foxx $408,000 “in return for all charges being dropped,” a claim that garnered more than 7,000 retweets.  

InfoWars claimed that Soros and Barack Obama were “behind” the decision to drop charges.

“Where is the media covering this connection?” tweeted Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk.

Soros and Obama aren’t the only prominent Democrats who have been tenuously pulled into the Smollett saga. A viral graphic passed around on social media claims, wrongly, that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is dating Smollett’s sister. Meanwhile, columnist Michelle Malkin is blaming the Obamas because they are from Chicago.

“How did hate crime huckster Jussie Smollett get away with it?” Malkin wrote in her widely syndicated columnist last week. “All crooked roads in Chicago lead back to the Obamas.”

The rumors and hoaxes have had the effect of making the Smollett case the kind of lingering mystery that can be “investigated” on the right forever. On Fox News, Laura Ingraham has already promised her audience that she’ll investigate whether Soros intervened to save Smollett.

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