News and Commentary

WATCH: Smollett’s Attorney Blasts Chicago Police: ‘Did Minimal Investigation In This Case’

Speaking on NBC’s Today show with host Savannah Guthrie on Thursday morning, Jussie Smollett’s attorney, Tina Glandian, ripped the Chicago police department, snapping they “did minimal investigation in this case.” She also complained about Smollett being a victim much more after the initial assault, saying, “He at this point again has been victimized much more by what’s happened afterwards than what happened that night.”

Guthrie started by stating that Glandian was probably aware of the fact that the FBI and DOJ were examining the dismissal of charges against Smollett. She asked, “Does that concern you?’

Glandian responded, “Not at all. We have nothing to be concerned about because there was nothing on our end to request this, to do anything improper, and to my knowledge nothing improper was done.”

Guthrie asked if to the best of her knowledge, did Glandian know if anyone connected with Smollett contacted the state attorney’s office on Smollett’s behalf.

Glandian answered that to the best of her knowledge, that hadn’t happened, but added, “That had nothing to do with why prosecutors discussed dismissing the case.” Glandiand added that she knew of no one connected with Smollett who had made contact with Kim Foxx, the state’s attorney, after Foxx recused herself from the case, saying, “No, the discussions were strictly with the prosecutors actually handling the case.”

Guthrie asked, “Is it your position that he is, in fact, factually innocent?”

Glandian answered, “Absolutely. No question.”

Guthrie: “He didn’t stage his own hate crime? No?”

Glandian: “No. Absolutely not.”

Guthrie: “He didn’t send a letter, a fake death threat letter to himself?”

Glandian denied that.

Guthrie said it was undisputed that Smollett had acknowledged that the Osundairo brothers were the assailants in the attack on him, prompting Glandian to say, “Well, when you say you know that, I mean, we believe that at this point with the information we’ve been told, but again, a lot of the information that the police, the CPD, has put out there and said is evidence has turned out not to be evidence. So we do have to question — again, he initially had a hard time believing because he was friendly with one of the brothers, he didn’t really know the older one very well, but he was friendly with Abel. And so he had a hard time believing that his friend would be behind this. But at this point —”

Guthrie interrupted, “What would the motive be? What would the motive for the brothers be?”

Glandian said she didn’t want to speculate as to what the motive would be, but she did “have a theory.”

Guthrie noted that the brothers did not steal money or a phone or a car from Smollett in the attack; Glandian agreed nothing had been stolen.

When Guthrie asked if it was a coincidence that the brothers had met Smollett in the early hours of the morning when the attack occurred, Glandian answered that Smollett had been in constant contact with Abel since they were going to train together, that Abel had told Smollett that he needed to eat properly, and that the reason Smollett had walked outside in the wee hours of the morning was to get some eggs.

Guthrie asked about Smollett’s statement to police that his attackers were white. She asked Glandian, “Was that a false statement?”

Glandian answered, “Just to be clear; he only saw one of the attackers; one of them he didn’t see. He saw one through a ski mask; again, he could not see their body; everything was covered, and he had a full ski mask on except around the eyes. He did tell police that from what he saw he thought it was pale skin, or, white or pale skin, was I think, what he said. And that’s why he initially did have a hard time, um —”

Guthrie interjected, “Why did he say that? He could have said ‘I don’t know.’ The Osundairo brothers, what are the chances that that’s the case, that he saw somebody with light skin?”

Glandian: “Well, you know, I mean, I think there’s, obviously you can disguise that, you can put makeup on; there is, actually, interestingly enough, a video, you know, I think police did minimal investigation in this case. It took me all of about five minutes to Google, you know, I was looking up the brothers, and one of the first videos that showed up, actually, was one of the brothers in whiteface doing a Joker monologue with white makeup on, and so it is not implausible.”

Guthrie stated, “A couple of quick things. He said that these individuals were yelling at him these homophobic and racist smears. Why didn’t he recognize their voices? He had literally just hung up with one of them.”

Glandian answered, “People say this as if this is a regular interaction. I mean, if you’re walking in the street and somebody screams, you turn around, and before you can even process what they look like you’ve been punched in the face and now next thing you’re on the floor and you’re being kicked, I mean, this is not a regular, this is a very brief interaction, all of 30 to 45 seconds, with your head being thrown around by punches, and so this isn’t somebody who’s digesting what’s happening; there’s excitement and fear and all of these things happening.”

Guthrie played an interview in which Smollett stated, “I understand how difficult it will be to find them. But we gotta. I still want to believe, with everything that’s happened, that there’s something called justice.” Guthrie asked, “If he is the victim of a crime, as he contends, will he urge prosecutors to bring charges against the Osundairo brothers and will he be willing to testify?”

Glandian responded, “In light of what he’s been through the last few months, he really just, you know, he’s told me numerous times, ‘I don’t even care about what happened. I just want to move on.’ I mean, what’s happened after the fact —“

Guthrie: “Does that make sense, though? This is a terrible attack.”

Glandian concluded, “What that attack was pales in comparison to the attack on him by the mayor, by the CPD, by the press—“

Guthrie: “He would be vindicated of these two were exposed as liars in a court of law, would he not?”

Glandian: “We would want that. But what he’s been through after the fact has really been a much harsher attack than what he endured that night. This wasn’t a very brutal attack, obviously; it was frightening and it was something he did not deserve, but they didn’t, they didn’t beat him so badly, that, you know, he at this point again has been victimized much more by what’s happened afterwards than what happened that night.”

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