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Jussie Smollett is indicted by a special prosecutor in Chicago 'for lying to police about being the victim of a racist homophobic attack', a year after similar charges were dropped {F}

Special prosecutor is assigned to investigate Kim Foxx’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case

Jussie Smollett 'indicted' by special prosecutor in Chicago

  • Empire actor hit with six disorderly conduct charges related to the 'hoax' attack 
  • Smollett was arrested last February and charged with 16 felonies
  • Cops said he lied about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack  
  • He faced 50 years in prison until State's Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the charges
  • She has since been accused of misconduct because she interfered in the police investigation into what happened
  • Smollett said he was attacked on January 29 when he was walking home at 2am
  • He claimed his attackers were light-skinned and shouted racist and homophobic slurs 
  • Brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo later told police Smollett paid them to stage the attack  
  • He claimed all along that he was innocent and that he was telling truth 
Jussie Smollett in his February 2019 mugshot

Jussie Smollett in his February 2019 mugshot 

Jussie Smollett has been indicted by a special prosecutor in Chicago, nearly a year after the initial charges against him over an alleged hoax attack were dropped. 

A Cook County grand jury hit the Empire actor with six counts of disorderly conduct on Tuesday for allegedly staging racist and homophobic hate crime and lying to police about it.

Special prosecutor Dan Webb announced the charges against Smollett and said that the further prosecution of the actor is in the 'interest of justice'.  

It is now more than a year since Smollett claimed he was attacked at 2am on January 29, 2019 while walking to a Subway near his Chicago home to buy a sandwich. 

He told police his attackers called him racist and homophobic slurs and that they appeared light-skinned. 

Nigerian brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo were then identified by police as the people he'd said attacked him. The pair knew Smollett and told the authorities he paid them to attack him in a staged incident to allegedly boost his celebrity profile and salary. 

Brothers Abel (left) and Ola (right) Osundairo told police Smollett paid them to stage the attack

Smollett was then hit with a 16-count grand jury indictment and faced more than 50 years behind bars — until State's Attorney Kim Foxx suddenly dropped all the charges last March in exchange for him doing community service. 

It was a decision that blindsided and outraged Chicago's former mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Chief of Police Eddie Johnson. 

Smollett, who has all along insisted he is innocent, then sued the city for malicious prosecution. 

There have been various rounds of civil litigation, but the cases have been delayed because it has been so difficult to identify an impartial prosecutor. 

Webb was eventually brought in to examine the case. 

The saga began on January 30 last year when it emerged that Smollett claimed he had been the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack. 

Nigerian brothers ride to meet Smollett on night of 'attack'
Smollet pictured suffering injuries to his face in the hospital after the alleged attack

Smollet pictured suffering injuries to his face in the hospital after the alleged attack 

This is a police photo of the rope used to create the noose in the alleged attack

This is a police photo of the rope used to create the noose in the alleged attack 


Police searching for persons of interest in Smollett attack

At the time, it seemed he had been walking home from Subway in the  middle of the night after returning home late on a delayed flight when he was approached. 

He told police afterwards his attackers identified him from the show he was on, Empire, and called him both the N-word and 'f****t'. 

He said they beat him, poured bleach on him then put a noose around his neck. 

Smollett went back to his apartment where his friend, Frank Gaston, was. It was Gaston who insisted they call police. 

When officers arrived, the actor refused to hand over his phone. 

He went to the hospital to be checked over but had no major injuries. 

The Chicago Police Department vowed to investigate the incident with all its might, and celebrities around the world rushed to share their support of Smollett. 

He became a household name almost overnight. 

But as the police investigation progressed, leaks began from within the police department that all may not have been as it seemed. 

As the controversy grew, Smollett - determined to make his case - went on Good Morning America where he cried and insisted he was telling the truth. 

By then, Chicago PD had released grainy surveillance camera footage of two men walking near the scene of the incident itself which was among the only part of his journey not captured on Chicago's vast network of security cameras that night. 

Bodycam shows Smollett with noose from night of alleged attackChicago Police have released 69 hours of video related to Jussie Smollett's alleged hate crime case on Monday including footage of him wearing a noose he claimed his assailants threw on him. Smollett pictured above muzzed wearing the noose

Chicago Police have released 69 hours of video related to Jussie Smollett's alleged hate crime case on Monday including footage of him wearing a noose he claimed his assailants threw on him. Smollett pictured above muzzed wearing the noose 

Smollett unequivocally identified the two men in the grainy footage as his attackers. 

Neither their faces nor skin color could be made out in it. 

Unbeknownst to him while he was conducting his GMA interview, the Chicago PD was building a case against him. 

They had identified the people in the video as the Osundairo brothers and had backed-up their belief by tracking the pair's movements in the days and hours both before and after the incident.  

Smollett was eventually arrested and charged with suspicion of lying to police.   

The brothers flew to Nigeria within hours of the January 29 incident and missed the media storm which followed. 

The Empire actor (left) had claimed that he was attacked by two men who launched racial and homophobic slurs at him and threw a noose on him.
Police later determined that he staged the attack and charged him with filing a false police report and those charges were later dropped by Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx

The Empire actor (left) had claimed that he was attacked by two men who launched racial and homophobic slurs at him and threw a noose on him. Police later determined that he staged the attack and charged him with filing a false police report and those charges were later dropped by Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx (right)

'I fought the f*** back' Jussie Smollett speaks out about attack

When they landed back in the US, police investigators were waiting to question them. 

After hours of secret interviews, they told cops that Smollett had paid them to carry out the attack as part of an elaborate hoax. 

Special Prosecutor Dan Webb was appointed in August to examine what occurred in the case

Special Prosecutor Dan Webb was appointed in August to examine what occurred in the case

Smollett was then arrested. 

In an extraordinary press conference afterwards, then police chief Eddie Gallagher accused him of inflaming race relations in Chicago and of wasting police time. 

He bellowed that Smollett had tried to leverage the 'attack' to get his bosses at Empire to pay him more.  

Despite police outrage, prosecutor Kim Foxx was quiet. 

The case then went to a grand jury which returned a stunning, 16-felony indictment that would have put Smollett behind bars for more than 50 years if he had been convicted. 

By then, Foxx had informally recused herself from the case. 

Her conflict of interest was that in the early days of the police investigation, she intervened at the request of Smollett's family and their friend - Time's Up CEO Tina Tchen - who wanted the FBI to take over the police investigation. 

JUSSIE SMOLLETT TIMELINE 

January 29: The 'hoax' attack outside Smollett's apartment in Chicago occurs. 

January 30: A wave of public sympathy rushes over Smollett, until then a relatively unknown actor 

February 14: After a series of unfavorable leaks from the Chicago PD, Smollett goes on Good Morning America to plead his case.

Unbeknownst to him, brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo are being interviewed by police after returning from Nigeria.  

February 20: Smollett is arrested and accused of lying to police. 

He is bailed out on a $10,000 cash bond. 

March 7: Grand jury indicted Smollett

March 26: Charges dropped 

April 11: Chicago sues Smollett for $130,000 - the cost of the investigation

August: Dan Webb is appointed special prosecutor  

November: Smollett counter-sues, alleging malicious prosecution 

February 11, 2020: Reports emerge that Dan Webb has charged Smollett  hey said they were worried by the number of leaks that had come from the Chicago PD and asked Foxx to help. She said she would try. 

After the grand jury indictment, the case stalled for a few weeks. 

Then, in March, Foxx's deputy Joseph Magats - who had taken over - announced the decision that the charges against Smollett had been dropped. 

Foxx had intervened again, it emerged, and pointed to what they called 'alternative prosecution' whereby Smollett, a first-time offender, was let off with a $10,000 bail forfeiture and community service. 

There was outrage and calls for Foxx to be investigated herself for prosecutorial misconduct. 

As judges and special prosecutors for that task were tossed around, the city came out swinging in civil court. They sued Smollett, asking him to reimburse them for all the money they said they'd wasted investigating what they believed were bogus claims. 

Smollett counter-sued, accusing the city and Eddie Gallagher of malicious prosecution. He lost his job on Empire and became a pariah in the showbiz world he was allegedly trying to ascend through. 

Webb was appointed in August to investigate why Foxx's office had dropped the charges. 

He himself faced criticism and claims of another conflict of interest when it emerged he had donated $1,000 to Foxx's re-election campaign once.  

Police release 69 hours of video in Smollett case

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City of Chicago bills Jussie Smollett 130K for the cost of the police probe into his 'hoax' - as mayor tells Trump to 'just sit this one out'

A Chicago judge determined that a special prosecutor would be assigned to examine Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's management of the Jussie Smollett case that ended in all 16 of his grand jury charges dismissed by her office for his part in an alleged fake hate crime.

A Chicago judge determined that a special prosecutor would be assigned to examine Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s management of the Jussie Smollett case that ended in all 16 of his grand jury charges dismissed by her office for his part in an alleged fake hate crime.

After an outcry by state officials including then Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the police superintendent Eddie Johnson who both took Foxx to task for failing to bring Smollett to trial, there was a call to enlist a special prosecutor to further investigate the case and her handling of it.

On Friday, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael Toomin agreed that the case needed to be scrutinized and said “the integrity of our criminal justice system” is at stake, NBC News reports.

“The unprecedented irregularities identified in this case warrants the appointment of independent counsel to restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system,” Toomin, wrote.

Sheila O’Brien has been named as the special prosecutor to explore how and why the Empire star avoided prosecution after he claims he was victimized in a late-night racist and homophobic attack.

“It’s very thorough and it’s very complete,” O’Brien said. “Well get the truth, the whole truth, under oath.”

The dismissal of the case caused widespread concern over the integrity of the office after it was reported that Foxx had entertained calls from Smollett’s high-powered family and friends after a grand jury indicted him.

Smollett was charged with making a false report that he was attack in January and two body-building brothers initially said they helped him stage the attack. Smollett was arrested in February and faced a substantial amount of charges.

The brothers were cooperating witnesses and weren’t arrested. However, in March, Foxx’s office decided against moving forward with prosecuting Smollett.

That decision is what many people want examined. Although Foxx ultimately recused herself from the case, it is believed she still had a heavy hand in getting Smollett off the hook.

Toomin said she should not have appointed First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats in her place to take charge of the case. An independent prosecutor should have been tapped, Toomin said.

“Yet for reasons undisclosed even to this day, Foxx instead chose to detour from the mandated course, instead appointing Mr. Magats as `the acting State’s Attorney for this mater,’ ” Toomin wrote.

Toomin tore into Foxx for making that decision.

“There was and is no legally cognizable office of Acting State’s Attorney known in our statutes or to common law,” Toomin ruled. “Its existence was only in the eye or imagination of its creator, Kim Foxx.”

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Smirking Jussie Smollett quits Chicago - leaving behind a city at war and the FBI reviewing HOW the incendiary decision to drop all charges was made, as prosecutors scramble to justify their call

Rahm Emanuel said the city is putting together a bill for Jussie Smollett a bill for the police probe into the hate crime he reported on January 29

  • Rahm Emanuel told Trump to 'sit this one out' when discussing the Smollett case
  • He also said he would give the actor a bill for the cost of the investigation 
  • Emanuel says the cost of the police probe into the January 29 attack is around $150,000 
  • On Thursday, Chicago PD said the cost was $130,000  
  • He said city lawyers were still totaling up the final cost and would send Smollett's team a letter with it  
  • Smollett agreed to forfeit $10,000 in bond on Tuesday and had his charges dropped
  • Emanuel called it a 'whitewash of justice' and said he wants the Empire actor to be accountable in some way 
  • Smollett maintains he did nothing wrong and claims the charges being dropped exonerates him
  • Prosecutors say they still think he is guilty but that it was an 'alternative prosecution' 

Rahm Emanuel said the city is putting together a bill for Jussie Smollett a bill for the police probe into the hate crime he reported on January 29

Trump called the decision by local prosecutors 'outrageous.' It was not entirely clear if he was demanding further investigation or calling for new activity. Emanuel told him to 'just sit this one out' 

DOJ will review Jussie Smollett case after charges were dropped
Emanuel wants him not only to pay because the city is out of pocket but because he says it will finally show some accountability on the actor's part. 

'It is a small way of both acknowledging, one, guilt, two, that we spent these resources and the taxpayers deserve, at minimum — because I think there’s a whole other level of ethical costs, because he’s still walking around, ‘Hey, I’m innocent, everything I said from day one is true’ — that actually we’re going to get the resources back,' he added. 

Smollett, 36, flew back to Los Angeles on Wednesday after spending the night in Chicago following the bombshell development in the case.

He agreed to forfeit $10,000 in bond to have the charges dropped and completed 16 hours of community service, something he says was voluntary but which prosecutors say was part of their deal.

Mayor Emanuel said after the charges were dropped on Tuesday that that $10,000 does not come close to covering the total cost of the investigation into the January 29 hate crime he is accused of staging. 

This email was leaked on Wednesday which shows Foxx scrambling to find other examples to back up her office's decision on Smollett

This email was leaked on Wednesday which shows Foxx scrambling to find other examples to back up her office's decision on Smollett 

The real figure, he said, was closer to $150,000. 

Emanuel has condemned the state's attorney for her handling of the case. 

His distaste for Trump stems from the president's comments about the 2017 Charlottesville riots where he said both the right-wing protesters and counter protesters were alike. 

'The fact is, you’re a guy, I take umbrage that you have a person sitting in the Oval Office who drew a moral equivalency in Virginia between those who were fighting bigotry and those who were perpetuating bigotry,' Emanuel said, explaining his comment about Trump.  

Kim Foxx, the embattled Cook County State's Attorney who recused herself from the in February after exchanging text messages with one of his relatives but never appointed a special prosecutor, is also scrambling to find examples to justify the decision. 

In a series of interviews on Wednesday, she said that what had been agreed between his team and hers was what is known as 'alternative prosecution' whereby a defendant agrees to a certain set of term and has the case dropped in exchange. 

Foxx dismissed the public outcry around it and said only the people 'in the weeds' of the justice system would understand that it was actually commonplace and had happened thousands of times before. 

Kim Foxx, the recused Cook County State's Attorney who is facing scrutiny for her handling of the Jussie Smollett case, stood by her office's decision on Wednesday and said Smollett got off because it was the lowest class of felony and he has no criminal background

Kim Foxx, the recused Cook County State's Attorney who is facing scrutiny for her handling of the Jussie Smollett case, stood by her office's decision on Wednesday and said Smollett got off because it was the lowest class of felony and he has no criminal background 

Chicago prosecutor defends dropping Smollett's charges

There was no such explanation for it on Tuesday, when she stayed quiet and put Joseph Magats, her assistant who ultimately signed off on the decision, in front of cameras to try to address the many questions surrounding the case. 

But Wednesday, Foxx sent an email to staff asking for them to come up with examples to prove her story.

Smollett's attorneys are still maintaining his innocence. 

In an interview on Today, Tina Glandian claimed that Smollett did not recognize the Abel and Ola Osundairo when they attacked him on January 29 and that it still has not been proven that it was them, despite the fact that Smollett identified a photograph of the pair as his attackers before he was ever arrested and even though they had just been on the phone with him. 

When he learned it was them once they were in custody, Glandian said, Smollett 'found it hard to believe' because he had told that he could make out one had 'pale or white skin' around his eyes beneath the ski mask he was wearing.

It was not a lie, she insisted, adding that the reason for it could have been that the brothers were in 'disguise'.   

'He did tell police that from what he saw, he thought it was white or pale skin, that's what he initially said. 

'Obviously, you can disguise that. You can put make-up on,' she said. 

She went on to point to a 2016 YouTube video of Abel Osundairo, the brother in question, where he is wearing white make-up to perform a Joker monologue as potential proof of her theory.  

Tina Glandian, one of Jussie Smollett's lawyers
Abel Osundairo is shown in a 2016 video dressed up as the Joker

Jussie Smollett's lawyer Tina Glandian suggested on Thursday that the reason he told police his Nigerian attackers were white was because they 'might have been wearing white face' and had disguised themselves. Her evidence of the theory is 2016 video of Abel Osundairo (right) dressed up as the Joker 

Rahm Emanuel decries dropping of charges against Jussie Smollett
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'I do not believe he is innocent': Prosecutor who dropped charges against Jussie Smollett ADMITS that he thinks he is guilty but says he got off because he has no criminal background Smirking Jussie Smollett quits Chicago as FBI 'reviews why the charges against him were

  • Two law enforcement officials are said to have confirmed the FBI probe 
  • Kim Foxx, the recused Cook County State's Attorney, said Wednesday that Smollett got the same treatment as anyone else
  • She claims he was allowed to go free because he has no criminal background 
  • But the Cook County State's Attorney scrambled to provide other examples where felony charges were dropped in a similar manner
  • Smollett's lawyer condemned the 'continued campaign' against her client 
  • But officials are now facing accusations that Smollett was given star treatment from day one as he was never handcuffed and was held in a private jail cell 
  • Foxx recused herself after exchanging messages with Smollett's family 
  • She is now facing increasing scrutiny for her handling of the Smollett case 
Jussie Smollett is seen at O'Hare International Airport on Wednesday leaving Chicago one day after all charges were dropped against him
Kim Foxx, the recused Cook County State's Attorney who is facing scrutiny for her handling of the Jussie Smollett case, stood by her office's decision on Wednesday and said Smollett got off because it was the lowest class of felony and he has no criminal background

Kim Foxx, the recused Cook County State's Attorney who is facing scrutiny for her handling of the Jussie Smollett case, stood by her office's decision on Wednesday and said Smollett got off because it was the lowest class of felony and he has no criminal background 

This email was leaked on Wednesday which shows Foxx scrambling to find other examples to back up her office's decision on Smollett

This email was leaked on Wednesday which shows Foxx scrambling to find other examples to back up her office's decision on Smollett 

Chicago prosecutor defends dropping Smollett's charges
'The fact that people pick and choose which cases are most important I think breaks my heart. 

'This is not in anyway different that we've treated others,' Foxx said. 

THE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS IN THE JUSSIE SMOLLETT CASE

Why were the charges dropped if the State's Attorney's office says he is guilty?

First Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Magats said he decided to drop the charges because Smollett is not a violent threat to the community and because his office prioritizes violent crimes.

He admitted that he thinks Smollett is guilty and said the evidence stands up but claims because Smollett has no prior criminal background, justice has been served.

Few are satisfied with that answer and say the real reason is more nefarious.  

Why was the case sealed? 

On Tuesday, a judge granted Smollett's attorney's motion to seal the case but there is no written record of it and now it has been wiped from the court's records.  

The judge did not ask a single question about why the case was suddenly dropped or how the decision had been reached.  

Smollett initially said he welcomed the trial and wanted cameras inside for the public to see the evidence. 

Now, critics are demanding to see it all and say that if he is innocent, he has nothing to hide. 

His lawyers have not said why they wanted the records sealed.  

Why did he do community service and pay $10,000 if he is innocent? 

Smollett's attorneys insisted the outcome was not a plea deal but legal experts have unanimously described it as unusual for a defendant to complete community service and pay the city if he is innocent.  

The State's Attorney's office said on Tuesday that the charges would not have been dropped if he had not completed it.    

When did they reach a deal and why was it done in secret?

The State's Attorney's office will not give details about its interactions with Smollett in the days before the announcement. 

It remains unclear how long it has been discussing this outcome with his attorneys and what other options, if any, were discussed to reach this point.  

What really happened on the night of the attack if Smollett did not stage it? 

There is still no explanation for why brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo attacked Smollett, who they were friends with and trained with at the gym, if he did not ask them to. 

Smollett's attorneys say the pair were 'absolutely lying' by saying that he asked them to do it to boost his profile but they do not know why else they did it. 

Prosecutors have not given any alternative scenario and they say the evidence, that Smollett orchestrated it, stands up. 

The brothers' lawyer no longer represents them and they have not spoken. They previously said they felt 'betrayed' by Smollett.  

'It was not unusual for me to talk to a victim in a case,' she said. 


The Cook County State's Attorney is now scrambling to provide other examples where felony charges were dropped in a similar manner to Jussie's case.

An email sent out to prosecutors reads: 'We are looking for examples of cases, felony preferable, where we, in exercising our discretion, have entered into verbal agreements with defense attorneys to dismiss charges against an offender if certain conditions were met, such as the payment of restitution, completion of community service, completion of class, etc.

'Nobody is in trouble, we are just looking for further examples of how we, as prosecutors, use our discretion in a way that restores the victim, but causes minimal harm to the defendant in the long term.' 

On Wednesday night, the National Association of District Attorneys slammed the entire case. 

'The case in Chicago illustrates a point that must be discussed in an effort to ensure fairness in our criminal justice system; the rich are treated differently, the politically connected receive favorable treatment, and Lady Justice sometimes peeks under her blindfold to see who stands before her.  

'NDAA rejects these inequities as they are antithetical to our founding principles of justice: that no one is above the law,' it said in a statement. 

But legal experts do not think similar cases to that of Smollett will be found.

CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller said: 'They may find some cases that are similar that may match the issues here, but the vast majority of cases would never ever be handled in this manner.' 

It comes as Smollett's lawyer, Patricia Holmes, issued a blistering statement condemning those who have 'continued their campaign' against her client. 

Holmes said Smollett  'is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law', adding: 'The case is closed. No public official has the right to violate Mr. Smollett's due process rights.

'We respectfully request all government agencies involved live up to the ethical tenets of their office. The case was dismissed. We should all allow Mr. Smollett to move on with his life as a free citizen.' 

But law enforcement officials are now facing accusations that Smollett was given the star treatment from day one. 

He is said to have never been handcuffed and was held in a private jail cell. 

Official reports obtained by public-safety watchdog CWBChicago show he was 'placed into an unmarked police vehicle, with tinted windows'.

'While in route, [an officer] offered Smollett breakfast, coffee or something to drink, which Smollett declined'. the papers said. 

Smollett was also said to have been kept segregated and housed alone at his request. 

In an earlier interview with NBC, Foxx defended her interaction with one of his family members and boasted about recusing herself over it.  

'At the time that I engaged with this family member, Mr. Smollett was considered a victim. 

'What was of concern to me was that that contact could not, would not, be construed, the appearance of it, to impact how we handled this case. 

'So I made the decision, in consultation with my chief ethics officer, a week before he was charged, to remove myself from the case.' 

She also said that Smollett only paid $10,000 because that was the cap under the alternative prosecution scenario which played out. 

'Mr Smollett was afforded the same opportunity that anyone in Cook County who had a non violent offense and the required background would be able to get,' she said. 

Foxx also claimed that she had a 'good' relationship with the police bosses who eviscerated her office's decision on Tuesday.

'He recognizes that this disposition is not outside the realm of what we've seen before.

'I know that he can attest that this case was not treated any differently,' she said, adding that she 'could not speak to' how he felt about it.  

DOJ will review Jussie Smollett case after charges were dropped
Actor Jussie Smollett talks to the media before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped Tuesda

Actor Jussie Smollett talks to the media before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped Tuesda

Meanwhile, the FBI will also continue investigating a threatening letter (pictured) that Smollett received at the studio in Chicago where Empire is filmed on January 22, just days before he was attacked

At a press conference on Tuesday, Superintendent Johnson joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in describing it as a 'whitewash of justice.' 

He said justice had not been served, maintained that Smollett lied and abhorred him for not letting the evidence become public. 

Foxx maintains that even though her office 'could' have found him guilty, he may have been found innocent. 

She thinks that even if he had been convicted, he would not have been give jail time. 

'Jussie Smollett has not been found guilty by a court of law. We believe that the facts were sufficient to charge and try Mr. Smollett for the crimes.

'He chose this alternative prosecution method. A court has not found him guilty. this office believed that they could prove him guilty.

'We have, this is consistent with what we do in alternative prosecution, I don't think people understand what that is.

'We want to get to just outcomes. It is possible that if we did not offer a diversionary outlet for Mr. Smollett that he could have been taken to trial, he could have very well been found not guilty. 

'What diversion allows is even for those who are guilty, to be able to get to the same outcome, if he was found guilty on a class 4, he was going to get some restitution, community service, not prison,' she said.   

In February, Foxx's office announced that she had decided to recuse herself because of the texts to Tina Tchen, a private attorney and Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, and one of Smollett's relatives. 

It was days before Smollett was charged and, at the time, she said she had taken the decision 'out of an abundance of caution'. 

'Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case ,' her spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said. 

But on Wednesday, as she faced questions over why a special prosecutor was never put in place and why her office suddenly decided to drop the charges against Smollett, Foxx's office confused the issue by saying she never actually recused herself.  

As such, she did nothing wrong by not appointing a special prosecutor, they said.

'[Foxx] did not formally recuse herself or the [State's Attorney] Office based on any actual conflict of interest.  

'As a result, she did not have to seek the appointment of a special prosecutor... it was a colloquial use of the term rather than in its legal sense,' Kiera Ellis, a different spokeswoman, said.  

These are the emails exchanged between Tina Tchen and Kim Foxx on February 1, days after the incident on January 29 when Smollett was still being considered the victim of a hate crime
These are the emails exchanged between Tina Tchen and Kim Foxx on February 1, days after the incident on January 29 when Smollett was still being considered the victim of a hate crime

These are the emails exchanged between Tina Tchen and Kim Foxx on February 1, days after the incident on January 29 when Smollett was still being considered the victim of a hate crime

Tchen put one of Smollett's relatives in touch with Foxx. Their texts are shown
Tchen put one of Smollett's relatives in touch with Foxx. Their texts are shown

Tchen put one of Smollett's relatives in touch with Foxx. Their texts are shown

The texts continued until mid February then Foxx recused herself

The texts continued until mid February then Foxx recused herself 

Fraternal Order of Police president Kevin Graham said: 'There's text messages going back-and-forth between Foxx and Smollett's private attorney. 

'That's a real problem. 

'We asked for an investigation before because something didn't smell right. 

'Now, a judge sealed the court records so you can't even get a copy of the police investigation.'

The judge, Honorable Judge Stephen Gregory Watkins, did not ask Smollett's team why they wanted the case sealed on Tuesday. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decried the outcome.

'This does not add up. They better get their story straight, this is making fools of us all,' he said. 

'He abused the city of Chicago, he committed a crime here. 

He lied about something,' he went on, adding that it was not just the state but also a grand jury who thought Smollett was guilty. 

'He said he wanted to get his name clear. Let's get to the bottom of this, let's find out what happened,' Emanuel said. 

Calls to probe Obama links to the decision to drop charges

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All 16 felony charges against Jussie Smollett are sensationally DROPPED {VIDEO}

First Assistant Joe Magats said that he thought Smollett was guilty but that 'based on the facts and circumstances' of the case and 'based on his lack of criminal background', the decision was made

  • First Assistant Joe Magats stood by his decision to drop the charges and said it 'was not a whitewash' 
  • Smollett completed 16 hours of community service between Saturday and Monday and gave up $10,000 
  • Magats insists that he thought it was enough because the star is 'not a threat' and has no background
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel said it was a whitewash of justice that Smollett had been cleared on 16 counts 
  • Eddie T. Johnson, the Chicago Police Department Superintendent, was equally enraged 
  • Neither of them knew that the charges had been dropped and found out at a police academy ceremony 
  • Smollett was facing 48 years behind bars on 16 felony charges for allegedly lying to police about the attack 
  • Prosecutors and police were confident in their case and laid out their evidence publicly last month 
  • A grand jury also returned a 16-count indictment which was based on a 'sliver' of the evidence  
  • Magats' boss, State's Attorney Kim Foxx, is facing calls for an Attorney General investigation into how she handled the investigation 
  • In the days after the attack, she tried to wrestle the case from Chicago PD and have the FBI take over 
  • Smollett's family were exchanging texts with her and said it would be a 'huge victory' if the FBI led the probe  

The prosecutor who decided to drop the charges against Jussie Smollett admitted on Tuesday that he does not believe the Empire star is innocent but claimed he dropped the case because the actor has no criminal background.

First Assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats said that he thought Smollett was guilty but that 'based on the facts and circumstances' of the case and his 'lack of criminal background', the decision was made not to pursue the 16 felony disorderly conduct charges that a grand jury returned. 

It came after a furious press conference from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson who decried it as a 'whitewash of justice' and said Smollett got off 'scot-free' because he is famous.  

As Magats spoke out, more details of Smollett's 'deal' with prosecutors emerged. 

Between Saturday and Monday, he spent 16 hours performing community service at Rainbow Push, a civil rights organization in Chicago where he 'worked in bookstores, sold merchandise, stuffed envelopes, spoke to students and helped in the video department.' 

Smollett's family has claimed that even though he forfeited $10,000 in bond money and completed community service, they did not make a deal with prosecutors. They claim he has been completely vindicated by the outcome and that it proves he was telling the truth all along. 

'I do not believe he is innocent,' Magats told CBS on Tuesday afternoon.    

Jussie Smollett completed 16 hours of community service and paid $10,000 but in exchange had his record expunged

First Assistant Joe Magats said that he thought Jussie Smollett was guilty but that 'based on the facts and circumstances' of the case and 'based on his lack of criminal background', the decision was made 

He also dismissed the mayor's criticism, saying: 'Not true, it’s just not. It’s not a whitewash, he did community service, he has forfeited his bond, it’s just not a whitewash.' 

Magats insisted that State's Attorney Kimberly Foxx, who recused herself from the case because she had exchanged text messages with a member of Smollett's family in the days after the incident, did not impact his decision.  

Foxx is accused of trying to wrestle it out of the hands of the Chicago PD and have the FBI take it over at the request of Smollett family friend Tina Tchen, who is Michelle Obama's former chief of staff. 

The police union in Chicago says it should have gone to a special prosecutor and believe it is especially suspicious given Tuesday's outcome.  

Mayor Emanuel said the sudden decision to drop the charges proved there is 'one set of rules for the powerful and influential' and another for others which he said sent a 'clear' and 'wrong' 'message'. 

He and Johnson were blindsided by the announcement which they learned of while attending a police academy graduation ceremony.  

'Without a doubt this is a whitewash of justice and sends a clear message that if you are in a position of influence and power, you'll be treated one way. It is wrong,' Mayor Emanuel said. 

'Not only do I support the hard work of the police department, I'd like to remind everybody a grand jury indicted this individual based on only a piece of the evidence the police had gathered,' he said. 

He went on to condemn Smollett for speaking out after the court hearing and protesting his innocence. 

'Mr. Smollett is still saying that he is innocent, still running down the Chicago Police Department... how dare him. How dare him after everybody saw. Is there no decency in this man?' 

Rahm Emanuel joined Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson (left) on Tuesday at a press conference to condemn the outcome of the Jussie Smollett case

'He did this all in the name of self promotion. And he used the laws of the hate crime legislation.' 

Johnson, who publicly condemned Smollett last month and said his lies were 'despicable', also slammed the star for asking that the evidence be sealed. 

You cannot have, because of a person's position, one set of rules apply to them and another set of rules apply to everybody else...Nobody else would ever get close to this type of treatment 
Mayor Rahm Emanuel  

'I would want my day in court to clear my name. 

'They wanted their day in court with TV cameras,' he said, referring to Smollett's team's eagerness to allow cameras in the courtroom.

'[Now] they chose to hide behind secrecy. You all know what the bond proffer said. 

'We all know what it said if they want to dispute those facts the place to do that is in court not in secrecy,' he said. 

'Our job as police officers is to present them with the evidence.

'If you want to say you are innocent of a situation then you take your day in court

'I would never, if someone falsely accused me, I would never hide behind a brokered deal and secrecy,' he said. 

Emanuel added: 'This is not on the level. From top to bottom' when asked if they had been told about the decision.

Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts that were returned by a grand jury which Emanuel said it proved that it was not just the police department which thought he was guilty.  

'This is not the superintendent's word against his. 

'The grand jury saw a sliver of the evidence and they came to a conclusion,' he said, adding that the judge's decision to grant make all of the evidence sealed meant that the truth would never come out. 

'This is a person now who has been left off scot-free with no sense of accountability of the moral and ethical wrong of his actions, from top to bottom. 

'This sends an unambigious decision that there is no accountability and it's wrong,'  Emanuel said. 

He also slammed Smollett's $10,000 bond forfeiture which is a tiny fraction of the amount spent trying to investigate the case, he said. 

'This $10,000 doesn't even come close to what the city spent in resources to actually look over the cameras, gather all the data, get all the information that actually brought the indictment by the grand jury.

'Where is the accountability in the system? You cannot have, because of a person's position, one set of rules apply to them and another set of rules apply to everybody else,' he added. 

Anthony Guglielmi, the Chicago PD spokesman, fired off this tweet after the news on Tuesday

Anthony Guglielmi, the Chicago PD spokesman, fired off this tweet after the news on Tuesday 

He compared the incident to the college bribery scandal and said: 'You have a person because of their position and their background who is getting treated in a way that nobody else would ever get close to this type of treatment.'  

Magats said it had decided not to pursue the charges because his office prioritized 'violent crime' and that Smollett's alleged wrongdoing did not fall into that category. 

The pair said there was enough evidence to convict Smollett but that it would never see the light of day because of the judge's decision to seal the case.  

'We did not exonerate him. 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,' Joe Magats, Assistant State's Attorney, told The New York Times.   

  • Smollett's lawyers announced on Tuesday that all charges had been dropped
  • He was facing 48 years behind bars on 16 felony charges for allegedly lying
  • Prosecutors and police were extremely confident in their case and laid out their evidence publicly before Smollett entered a plea
  • The Cook County's State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself over the case over contact she had with his family in the days after the incident 
  • Police are said to be 'furious' by the decision and were not told ahead of time that the charges would be dropped  
  • Smollett, who has always maintained his innocence, said in a statement via lawyers that he was relieved 
  • 20th Century Fox said it was 'gratified' that he had been vindicated  

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Comment by BIIGMANN on February 12, 2020 at 12:37pm
F*** THIS LOOTING F*****. GETTY LIFE DUDE. DRAMA QUEEN B****!
Comment by mr1stroke on February 11, 2020 at 10:11pm
Lock his ass up, damn f*****
Comment by mr1stroke on June 23, 2019 at 10:32am
And please niggers are always bragging about what they are not you do a lot of talking but cant be factual, so whats the name of that school, and in what field are you certified with those degrees, what is your occupation? Until you can answer these questions, stop seeling out dreams, you are a project n***** show us thw picture of your house, i dont care about your the car you drive just about every n***** in the project got a maserati park in the front these days, back that talk up otherwise n***** shut up, you porch monkey, where were you on june 19, you went to a black school that still has the under ground railroad how come you never have even one post to educate people about that matter how come you dont even converse on that matter, what do you contribute to the public with your degree n*****? And every body realize every time i call you out on your ignorant lies you never respond you act like you dont see, i will always embarrass dumb niggers like you
Comment by mr1stroke on June 23, 2019 at 10:23am
vaughn mitchell you are an ignorant n*****, you said you went toba black school, what exactly have you learned, do you read, do you have sny knowledge about the law and the justice system? Thats why i always respond to yiur dumb ass, its a good thing other people get to read your comments on here so they can see how stupid you sound since you never told us the name of the university that you went to, so how about you ait your retarded monkey ass ans dont say nothing, but before i do so since you said they didnt have enough evidence, did you read the charges, the evidence is the check he wrote the phone call he made to 911, the brothers and the items they purchased, but dummy if they did not have enough evidence why would they waste their time to reopen the case and recharge him, how will they recharge hik if they dont have enough evidence you dumb n*****? You are an embarrassment for someone who went to college, poor excuse, sad excuse.
Comment by vaughn mitchell on June 22, 2019 at 8:18pm
@gospelpan, this so call ignorant negros, is pro black, who graduated from the first black college which still has the underground railroad. With 2 degrees,and magna c** Laude, I doubt you know what that means since, your agreeing with a racist, white devil who calls himself Mr 1 dick, and his attitude towards black people is to continue calling them the racist N, word.
Comment by vaughn mitchell on June 22, 2019 at 8:11pm
@Gospelpan, if they had enough evidence he would have been locked up obviously the cops f***** up, but seeing you and Mr 1 dick, is agreeing with each other, where is the special prosecutor investigating, the prosecutor, and crooked cops who put 5, innocent young men in jail for acromegaly they did not commit. As blacks we are eager to see our own go to jail for crimes, including lies, but white people get a slap on the wrist. I am still waiting for Weinstein to go to jail, but of course the me too movement only got a 80 yr old have blind Bill Cosby.
Comment by mr1stroke on June 22, 2019 at 12:22am
She deserves to be investigate, we have all those people doing time for less than his crimes because he is gay and a star he geta to go free, they need to find out how many people with lesser crimes she has prosecuted
Comment by mr1stroke on March 29, 2019 at 2:48pm
GospelPan dont get upset, ignore and ognore and stay focus woth so many uninform and pretenders walking around in the community this is why we are the only one in the crisis on Amarica look around every other groups are moving ahead and passing us by its sad how so many still blind
Comment by GospelPan on March 29, 2019 at 2:43pm
Vaughn,

you sound like a dumb ignorant negro. Next time, before you go on a rant, read carefully...I didn’t say I’d bury the guy under the jail, I said they had enough evidence to bury him under the jail, and don’t try to lecture me about police shooting of our black men like I don’t know what’s going on. Lastly, learn to be respectful when you talk to people, I have found the people with the biggest mouths are often paper soldiers. This is a big reason why some of us kill our own...we don’t respect each other.
Comment by mr1stroke on March 29, 2019 at 2:09pm

while we are worrying about the cops, this is whats killing the black community everyday, when will any one march against that, when will the community stand up, or will they continue to accept it? he was only 22 he is no longer with us, ill be at the visual this saturday, this is the 11th victim since January i have paid respect to, not to mnetion the ones that dont make the news

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