It’s been more than a year since ex-“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett claimed he was attacked by two white supporters of President Donald Trump on a frigid Chicago morning.
After new charges were brought against the actor in mid-February, his attorneys filed an emergency motion with the Illinois Supreme Court, The Chicago Tribune reported, arguing “that Cook County Judge Michael Toomin overstepped his authority and misinterpreted the law when he ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor in Smollett’s case last year.”
Smollett’s attorneys claimed in their filing “that the particular statute Toomin cited to appoint a special prosecutor can only be invoked if the state’s attorney filed a formal petition for recusal — which Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx never did,” the Tribune continued.
Foxx stepped down from prosecuting Smollett and it was discovered later that she agreed to try and get the charges dropped against Smollett. After she stepped down – but did not remove her entire team from the case and instead appointed her top deputy to run the investigation – Toomin said the prosecution became invalid. The judge contended that Foxx did not have the authority to name her own successor.
Smollett’s attorneys, however, claimed Smollett was the only person who had the right to question whether the prosecutor in his case had the authority to prosecute him.
“[If] there, in fact, had been a defect in the authority to prosecute Mr. Smollett, the only person who could properly challenge the validity of the proceedings would be Mr. Smollett — and he has not done so,” his attorneys wrote in the motion.
His attorneys went on to demand the order that appointed the special prosecutor be thrown out and that all charges against the actor be vacated.
The Illinois Supreme Court denied the motion. Smollett’s next hearing will be on March 18, as previously scheduled. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
On February 11, a Cook County grand jury indicted Smollett on “six counts of disorderly conduct alleging he orchestrated the racist and homophobic attack on a frigid night in downtown Chicago,” the Tribune reported. The allegations mirrored those originally brought against the actor last year after it was discovered he fabricated a hate crime against himself.
Smollett claimed on January 29, 2019, that he was attacked by two white men wearing “Make America Great Again” hats around 2:00 a.m. during a polar vortex in Chicago. Smollett claimed the men shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him as they beat him, tied a noose around his neck, and poured bleach on him (they had been apparently carrying these things just randomly while out the night and somehow recognized Smollett). The men allegedly yelled “This is MAGA country” before they left.
Smollett, according to surveillance footage, showed up to his friend’s apartment in Chicago with the noose still around his neck and carrying his sandwich from Subway, which apparently wasn’t damaged in the violent altercation. He was still wearing the noose when police arrived.
The media instantly bought Smollett’s wild claims due to their hatred of Trump and his supporters. It was quickly discovered that Smollett paid two Nigerian brothers to stage the attack against him.