The Cook County State's Attorney’s Office on Tuesday sealed case records and dropped all 16 felony charges against actor Jussie Smollett, explaining: “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.”
Smollett, who had been facing three years in prison, was glad to hear it.
“I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one,” Smollett explained before leaving the court building. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of.” So for the actor, who pleaded not guilty to the 16 charges, it was a declaration of innocence.
In the actor’s mind, he had not mailed fake letters to himself and hired two Nigerian men to attack him, pour bleach on him, string a noose around his neck. He had not claimed that the attackers were white racist homophobes proclaiming, “this is MAGA country.” All of that had been “truthful and consistent.”
In February, Smollett’s attorneys described the actor as “a victim of a hate crime” and “further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.” Police and local officials didn’t think so.
On Tuesday, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel called it a “whitewash of justice.” Police superintendent Eddie John said justice had not been served, and that Smollett “committed this hoax, period.” As Johnson previously pointed out, it wasn’t the police saying the attack was staged, “It’s the evidence, the facts and the witnesses that are saying it.” But now, Johnson said Tuesday, “none of that evidence will ever be made public.”
Making that call was Cook County state attorney Kim Foxx, who drew campaign backing from George Soros and support from Democrat presidential hopeful Kamala Harris. Another key player is Tina Tchen, who spent eight years in the White House as Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and also served as assistant to the president.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, days after Smollett reported the attack, Tchen contacted Foxx on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family members who “have concerns about the investigation.” Foxx recused herself from Smollett’s prosecution and as the Chicago Tribune reported, Foxx asked police superintendent Johnson to turn over the Smollett investigation to the FBI, to which the Smollett relative replied “OMG this would be a huge victory.” The Tribune was unable to get a comment from Tchen, reportedly a friend of mayor Rahn Emmanuel’s wife.
The FBI never took over the case and as the timeline shows, Foxx’s recusal was not publicly announced until Feb. 19, the day before charges were filed against Smollett. Foxx turned over the case to her top deputy Joseph Magats, without explanation. As Fraternal Order of Police president Kevin Graham explained in a statement, “That recusal is wholly insufficient. In order for Ms. Foxx to properly charge and try this case, her entire office should have recused itself and a special prosecutor been appointed.”
No special prosecutor was appointed and superintendent Johnson, who had diverted officers from homicide cases to pursue Smollett’s alleged attackers, announced that the actor “paid $3,500 to stage this attack” and “the stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” reportedly more than $1 million per year before taxes. Reports of the hoax had no effect on high-profile Democrats.
“The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching,” proclaimed Cory Booker and fellow presidential candidate Kamala Harris. Green New Dealer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, called it a “racist, homophobic attack.” The media echo chamber also chimed in. Van Jones and Keith Boykin believed Smollett’s story and Boykin described Smollett as “a Jackie Robinson against homophobia in the black community, an icon, a beloved icon.”
On Fox News, judge Andrew Napolitano said it was “almost unheard of” for the government to indict someone and then decide they cannot or will not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence showed that Smollett had perpetrated a hoax but the Cook County State Attorney’s Office still dropped the charges and turned loose the fraudster. His “community service,” as it turned out, was 18 hours of stuffing envelopes for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH coalition.
The case, Eddie Johnson lamented, “sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power you’ll be treated one way and if you’re not you’ll be treated another way.” The superintendent has a point, but there’s a bit more to it.
A wealthy celebrity with victim credentials can stage a hoax that is fraudulent to all but the willfully blind, but that’s no problem. If the fakery perpetrates the narrative that the election of Donald Trump unleashed a tide of hatred, leading Democrats and the establishment media will believe it without question.
As Jussie Smollett’s gambit confirms, the hate-crime faker with powerful friends from the administration of POTUS 44 can tell lies, waste the time and resources of law enforcement, and still get off with nothing. As actor James Woods tweeted, “Now maybe he can help OJ look for Nicole’s killer.”
Meanwhile, Eddie Johnson might not be surprised if similar fake hate-crimes break out across the country.