From CBS Chicago:
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.It looks like the Democratic machine came through for one of its own.
It looks like the Democratic machine in Chicago came through for the openly gay, left-wing, Trump-hating Empire actor. All sixteen counts against Jussie Smollett for staging a hoax hate crime have not just been dropped, but the his file has been sealed and his record fully expunged.
The prosecutors stated the reason for dropping all the charges appears to be nothing more than he’s a nice guy who has done nice things so it’s best for everyone involved to forget this entire episode ever happened:
“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,” according to a statement from the office of the Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, sent to USA TODAY by her spokeswoman, Tandra Simonton.
This is probably what actually happened: Smollett was refusing to cop a plea because to do so would be to admit it was all a hoax and there was no way he was going to admit that. The prosecutors had to realize this clown with his bevy of Hollywood defense attorneys was going to turn his trial into a media circus. The Nigerian brothers that Smollett paid may have issues themselves that don’t make them the most credible witnesses, particularly on cross examination. Even the $3500 check Smollett wrote to them could be explained away by the defense. Keep in mind, the defense doesn’t have to prove anything. All they have to do is shoot enough holes into the prosecution’s argument to cause reasonable doubt. On top all this, as disturbing as his hoax was, it was not a violent crime. No one was victimized here in the traditional sense, and, in the grand scheme of things, with the numbers of people dying in the city of Chicago from gang violence, the prosecutor’s office probably decided it would be a waste of the millions of dollars it would cost to go forward, so instead the DA chose to drop it all in exchange for the bond Smollett already paid.
I can’t imagine the police who investigated Jussie’s complaint are happy with this turn of events. Remember the press conference? They were outraged that Jussie made these false claims and held a press conference where they described them in detail:
What really has to burn the cops who charged Smollett is that he now gets to leave court and continue on with the charade that he was the real victim who was attacked by some MAGA hat-wearing racists and they can’t say anything even though they – not to mention the rest of us – know the truth.
Update: This is interesting:
Smollett’s attorney acknowledges that the brothers attacked him, but maintains that the city of Chicago’s charges against him are false??
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) March 26, 2019
How does that work exactly? They lied when they said that Smollett paid them to attack him? That they are real perpetrators who tried to shift the blame by wearing MAGA hats and yelling racial and sexual epithets?
Update II: As expected, Chicago’s chief of police is displeased:
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was not consulted before the prosecution decided to drop the 16 counts of disorderly conduct against Smollett, police sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Smollett’s file was sealed, but I’m wondering if a few details may still find their way to the media.
Update III: It sounds like the scenario I outlined above is close to what happened:
More from the asst state’s attorney: “Here’s the thing — we work to prioritize violent crime and the drivers of violent crime. Public safety is our number one priority. I don’t see Jussie Smollett as a threat to public safety.”
— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) March 26, 2019
Update IV: The chief of police and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are holding a press conference now. They are both very angry.
The mayor said this was a “whitewash of justice” and that the grand jury saw only a sliver of the evidence against Smollett and chose to indict. He seemed genuinely angry:
“This is a person who has been let off scot-free. You have a person using hate crime laws to advance your career. Is there no decency in this man?”
The chief of police said he was never notified that the state’s attorney’s office had planned to drop the charge but that he found out on the news during a police academy graduation. This is whole thing is baffling.