Even among liberal activists, plenty of people are slowly but surely coming to grips with the possibility that Jussie Smollett may have faked his own hate crime. Some are already walking back their initial support of the Empire actor, while still taking a wait and see approach. But an unexpected name joined their ranks this week. None other than Al Sharpton has taken the plunge, saying that if this was a hoax, Smollett should be held accountable “to the maximum.” (NY Post)

The Rev. Al Sharpton believes Jussie Smollett should face “accountability to the maximum” – if it’s found that he made up the hate attack against him…

“I, among many others when hearing of the report, said that the reports were horrific and that we should come with all that we can come with in law enforcement to find out what happened and the guilty should suffer the maximum,” Sharpton said Sunday night on his show “PoliticsNation” on MSNBC.

“I still maintain that,” he continued. “And if it is that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetuate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum.”

Look, it’s good to see people being a bit more realistic about what looked like an awfully fishy story to begin with, but the Reverend Al Sharpton? Is this really the sort of issue he should be weighing in on? You may recall Sharpton’s involvement in the Tawana Brawley hoax back in the day. Sharpton never truly owned up to that fiasco, though he was ordered to pay Dutchess County prosecutor Steven Pagones $65,000 in a subsequent defamation suit. (Sharpton did eventually pay the money, though Brawley herself only ever made token payments on her much larger portion of the settlement.)

Al Sharpton has made a fine living as a race-baiter and hustler, dodging the IRS and using his National Action Network as a protection racket. (NAN regularly threatened companies with boycotts and protests, accusing them of racism if they didn’t donate to the organization.)

The point is, Sharpton isn’t exactly somebody who should be throwing stones at Jussie Smollett given the vast glass mansion he lives in. What Smollett has allegedly done is bad, but it’s nowhere near the level of the Tawana Brawley hoax. Perhaps the Reverand Al should sit this one out.