Author Topic: Jussie Smollett  (Read 615 times)

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Offline Chris Pook

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Jussie Smollett
« on: March 26, 2019, 13:24:14 »
I get more and more cynical as time goes by.  And I become more and more in agreement with Bill Murray's motivational speech from Meatballs: It just doesn't matter.

So, back story:  Jussie Smollett is a gay, black, male actor who reported that he had been set upon by two thugs.  The claim was that they were Trump supporters.

Cue anti-Trump outrage.

Evidence then arose that he might have staged the event himself.  He was arrested and indicted by a grand jury in Chicago on 16 charges.

Cue anti-anti-Trump outrage.

Today, all charges were dropped by the State's Attorney, Kim Foxx, in lieu of a $10,000 payment and community service (credit granted for previous community service).

The charges were dropped without the knowledge of the Chief Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  He apparently is not happy.

Quote
CHICAGO (CBS)–Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is reportedly angry that prosecutors dropped charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett Tuesday in a surprise court hearing.

Johnson is expected to speak Tuesday after a police graduation ceremony.


Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson speaks to reporters about the arrest of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett for disorderly conduct. Smollett is accused of concocting a racist and homophobic attack because he was upset with his salary. (Credit: CBS)

Sources tell CBS 2 the news that 16 felony charges of disorderly conduct had been dropped against the “Empire” actor came as a surprise to the Chicago police head, who angrily told the public last month Smollett’s allegedly fabricated hate crime “Quite frankly pissed everybody off.”

“To put the national spotlight on Chicago for something that is both egregious and untrue is simply shameful,” Johnson said Feb. 21, the day Smollett turned himself in on on a felony charge of disorderly conduct.

Johnson said Smollett’s alleged scheme started with a letter that was sent to the set of “Empire,” containing letters apparently cut out from magazines to create words, creating racist and homophobic threats against Smollett.

When the letter didn’t get the reaction Smollett wanted, police said he paid two brothers $3,500 by check to help him orchestrate an attack in Streeterville.

“I only hope that the truth about what happened receives the same amount of attention that the hoax did,” he said. “I’ll continue to pray for this troubled young man who resorted to both drastic and illegal tactics to gain attention,” Johnson said last month.

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/03/26/jussie-smollett-charges-dropped-eddie-johnson-reacts/

Quote
CHICAGO (CBS) — Less than two weeks after “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police about a hate crime, prosecutors have dropped charges in the case.

...

Cook County prosecutors agreed to drop the charges against Smollett at an unscheduled hearing in the case Tuesday morning. Smollett will forfeit the $10,000 bail he posted after his arrest.

Judge granted a motion to seal the case. @cbschicago

Smollett’s attorney, Patricia Brown Holmes, said there was no agreement with prosecutors, insisting the state’s attorney’s office dropped the charges on their own.

“We believe that it was the correct result in this case. We’re very happy for this result, and we are very anxious for Jussie to get on with his career and his life, and to move forward,” Holmes said. “There is no deal. The state dismissed the charges.”

Holmes said Smollett volunteered to forfeit his $10,000 bail in the case.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office issued a statement after the hearing:

“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office stated in an email....

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/03/26/jussie-smollett-charges-dropped/


The Cook County State's Attorney is apparently a Ms Kimberley Foxx

https://www.cookcountystatesattorney.org/

Two weeks ago Ms Foxx recused herself from the case because -

Quote
Records: Former Michelle Obama aide, Smollett relative reached out to Kim Foxx

By Andy Grimm@agrimm34 | email
 
Just days after Jussie Smollett told Chicago police he had fought off a pair of attackers who targeted him in an apparent hate crime, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx tried to persuade Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to turn the investigation over to the FBI.

Foxx’s call to Johnson came after an influential supporter of the “Empire” actor reached out to Foxx personally: Tina Tchen, a Chicago attorney and former chief of staff for former First Lady Michelle Obama, according to emails and text messages provided by Foxx to the Chicago Sun-Times in response to a public records request.

Tchen passed Foxx’s number to a relative of the actor, and the ensuing conversations with the family member were cited by Foxx last month as the reason she recused herself from Smollett’s prosecution as the actor faces disorderly conduct charges for allegedly making a false police report.

Text messages show Tchen contacted Foxx on Feb. 1, three days after Smollett said he was jumped by two men as he walked home from a sandwich shop near his Streeterville home. Tchen texted Foxx to set up an early morning phone call.

“I wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know. They have concerns about the investigation,” Tchen wrote in a text sent before 5 a.m., seeking to set up a call with Foxx before Tchen left on an 8 a.m. flight to New York.

A few hours later, Foxx received a text from a relative of Smollett, who said she’d received the number from Tchen.

In an interview with the Sun-Times this week, Foxx said that the family member expressed concerns about leaked information about the investigation — information that media outlets attributed to “police sources.”

“They had no doubt about the quality of the investigation, but believed that the FBI would have a tighter lid on the information,” said Foxx, adding that Johnson initially seemed receptive to the idea of turning the case over to the FBI.

Actor Jussie Smollett walks into the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
Jussie Smollett walks into the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Foxx said she has made similar calls to Johnson in cases involving lower-profile victims.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the FBI was involved from the start of the investigation, as is the case in most possible hate crime investigations, but there was never a discussion of the CPD giving up the case to federal investigators. The department confirmed last week that there is an ongoing internal investigation of the unnamed sources who gave the press information.

The conversations with Smollett’s relative took place during the period of the investigation when Smollett was considered the victim of a hate crime, not a suspect in a hoax, Foxx said.

Her decision to recuse herself was based on the conversations with the family member, which included information about Smollett.

An email included with the records requested by the Sun-Times shows Foxx’s chief ethics officer sent a message to top staff announcing Foxx had recused herself from the case on Feb. 13 — about a week before Smollett was charged, and the same date as her last text message and calls with Smollett’s relative.

Foxx spokesman Robert Foley announced that the top prosecutor had recused herself and turned the case over to her top deputy, Joseph Magats, on Feb. 19, without explaining why.

The next day, Foley elaborated in a statement to reporters that Foxx “had conversations with a family member of Jussie Smollett about the incident and their concerns, and facilitated a connection to the Chicago Police Department who were investigating the incident.”

The text messages show Foxx told both Tchen and Smollett’s relative that Foxx had reached out to Johnson personally about handing the investigation off to the FBI.

“Spoke to the superintendent earlier. He is going to make the ask. Trying to figure out logistics. I’ll keep you posted,” Foxx wrote the relative that evening.

“OMG this would be a huge victory,” the relative texted in reply.

In an email message to Tchen sent the same day, Foxx wrote: “Spoke to the Superintendent Johnson. I convinced him to reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation. He is reaching out now and will get to me shortly.”

Tchen did not respond to requests for comment from the Sun-Times.

Defense lawyer and Chicago-Kent College of Law professor Richard Kling said that it would not be unusual for prosecutors to reach to police during an investigation, though it is likely rare that a victim would get the state’s attorney’s personal phone number. Foxx’s decision to recuse, once it became clear that Smollett was likely to be facing charges, was appropriate, Kling said.

“I don’t think it is odd or rare for prosecutors to talk to police, or for (Foxx) herself to ask what is going on in a particular case,” Kling said. “And, once she realized she had talked to a family member who may have given her information about a pending case, recusing herself was exactly the right thing to do.”

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/records-former-michelle-obama-aide-smollett-relative-reached-out-to-kim-foxx/


In short, IMO, the Person of Interest availed himself of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement for a cost of Legal Fees, a $10,000 fine (and potential contributions by grateful friends and family to local politicians).  In return the Person of Interest gets to write his own narrative and continue with business as usual.

And the world carries on.





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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Jussie Smollett
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2019, 16:45:42 »
 :rofl: They're not even trying to hide crap anymore. Just take the money and toss the case. More importantly, he and his lawyers crowing his innocence. 16 Grand Jury indictments disappear in the blink of a bank transfer.  Perhaps the liberals are trying to change the channel from the Muelleur report.  :o

OK, I'm speculating. Change my mind.  :rofl:

Not really, I don't care about court jesters. I pay them to sing and dance for me, not to give me political commentary. High priced jokers. I don't care what happens to clowns.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 16:49:08 by Fishbone Jones »
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Online FJAG

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Re: Jussie Smollett
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 19:05:59 »
Two points of interest:

1) Cook County's State Attorney is the US's second largest prosecutor's office; and

2) She is an elected official rather than an appointed civil servant.

Quote
Kimberly M. Foxx[2] (née Anderson; April 1972) is an American politician, currently serving as the State's Attorney for Cook County, Illinois. As such she manages the nation's second largest prosecutor's office and oversees an office of over nearly 800 attorneys and 1,500 employees. She was elected to this position on November 8, 2016. She is the second African American, after Cecil A. Partee, to hold this position.[3]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Foxx

I'm somewhat surprised that he was allowed to have this deal without an elocution of responsibility and allowed to spin out a narrative of innocence.

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Jussie Smollett
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2019, 19:22:30 »
The major point is, as you note FJAG, the Political (capital P) aspect of life in the US.

Political Prosecuting Attorneys and Political Judges.  And in many instances Political Police.   

Quote
Kimberly M. Foxx (née Anderson; April 1972) is an American politician, currently serving as the State's Attorney for Cook County, Illinois. As such she manages the nation's second largest prosecutor's office and oversees an office of over nearly 800 attorneys and 1,500 employees.

https://www.google.com/search?q=cook+county+state%27s+attorney&oq=cook+coun&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j0j69i60j69i57j0l2.4674j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Quote
...Across the United States, 87 percent of all state court judges face elections and 39 states elect at least some of their judges,


https://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/world/americas/25iht-judge.4.13194819.html?mtrref=www.google.com&gwh=B4A1163682FBAFA98689F87C2CB2C320&gwt=pay

Quote
In the United States, a sheriff is an official in a county or independent city responsible for keeping the peace and enforcing the law.[1] Unlike most officials in law enforcement in the United States, sheriffs are usually elected, although many states (such as California) have state laws requiring that a person possess certain law enforcement qualifications before being able to run for the office. Elected sheriffs are accountable directly to the constitution of their state, the United States Constitution, statutes, and the citizens of their county.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheriffs_in_the_United_States

The mixture of law and politics is something that Canada has managed to avoid

(officially)

(until recently).

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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Jussie Smollett
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2019, 01:19:56 »
Apparently, Ms Fox had a number of emails and text conversations with Smollett's lawyers while the court case was being decided. There are also rumours of a very large payout :dunno:

At any rate, I believe the FBI is now involved. I hope those people enjoy it while they can. I think their jubilation may be premature.

Especially with the FBI trying to regain some credibility.
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.