A Cook County judge ruled Friday that former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s disorderly conduct charges would not be dropped as they did not violate his constitutional protection against double jeopardy, arguing the charges dropped against him last year were invalid due to misconduct by the Cook County State’s Attorney office.
Smollett was indicted earlier this year on new charges stemming from his claims in January 2019 that he had been attacked by two racist white men in Chicago on a frigid night who yelled homophobic and racial epithets at him. He claimed they poured a bleach-like substance on him and tied a noose around his neck, which he continued to wear until he was interviewed by police about the incident later. After a national outcry despite the obvious issues with his story, a police investigation discovered that Smollett made up the claim and allegedly hired two brothers from Nigeria to attack him while wearing red hats he later claimed were “Make America Great Again” hats from President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Smollett was arrested and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself after it came to light that she had agreed to help Smollett. She then appointed one of her deputies to run the case, but this was determined by a different judge to be invalid. Judge Michael Toomin ruled in 2019 that Foxx could not appoint someone to take over the case for her and therefore every decision made after the deputy’s appointment was invalid, including the charges, indictment, and dismissal of the case.
Foxx’s office dropped the charges against Smollett and said he had been punished by forfeiting his $10,000 bond and performing 16 hours of community service.
CBS Chicago reported that Judge James Lin ruled that since “Smollett’s original case never went to trial, and was dismissed without a guilty plea, the fine and community service do not count as punishment.” Lin also ruled “the original case against Smollett was void,” the outlet reported.
“Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, whom Toomin appointed to re-investigate the entire case, later sought an indictment against Smollett, and a grand jury approved six counts of disorderly conduct against Smollett,” CBS Chicago reported.
Smollett has pleaded not guilty and still claims he was actually attacked by racists in the overwhelmingly liberal city of Chicago around 2 a.m. during a polar vortex. These supposed racists just happened to be roaming the streets at that time with rope and bleach and also apparently knew who Smollett was.
As The Daily Wire’s James Barrett recently reported, Smollett has now tried to use the police-involved death of Minneapolis man George Floyd in his defense.
“As we see millions across the country rise up to protest and expose police misconduct, the City, by its refusal to produce the requested documents, is choosing to actively resist a citizen’s lawful efforts to reveal dishonesty, directly relating to the charges against him, throughout the department, including the police superintendent who oversaw and publicly commented on the investigation of Mr. Smollett’s report of a vicious hate crime and assault,” Smollett’s attorneys wrote in a court filing. “Indeed, the city’s opposition to the motion to compel puts the cart before the horse and largely fails to appreciate that this case remains in the discovery phase. Allegations are not proven facts, but the City improperly assumes that it has already proven that Mr. Smollett made false statements to the CPD.”
The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.