'They are making fools of all of us': Shell-shocked Mayor Emanuel demands to know why State's Attorney's office decided to drop ALL of Jussie Smollett charges DESPITE admitting he is guilty

The incredulous mayor of Chicago said on Wednesday that prosecutors' decision to drop all the charges against Jussie Smollett made 'fools of all of us' as he demanded answers as to why the Empire star was able to escape 'scot-free' despite the State's Attorney's office still believing he is guilty of staging a hoax hate crime.
Smollett, 36, walked out of court on Tuesday a free man after secretly completing 16 hours of community service and forfeiting $10,000 in bond. 
Assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats said that even though he does not believe the star is innocent, his office had suddenly decided not to pursue charges because Smollett has a 'lack of criminal background' and was not a threat to the community. 
No other explanation for the sudden about-turn has been given and critics, including the 'furious' police chief who led the investigation into the attack, are enraged that not only has Smollett's record been expunged, but a judge has sealed the case meaning none of the evidence will become public. 
The Cook County courthouse has also revealed that every trace of the case has been wiped from its systems and, to clerks' surprise, no written motions were filed in court yesterday, making it as though the charges 'never existed.'
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who decried the decision after hearing about it during a police academy graduation ceremony, went on Good Morning America on Wednesday to demand more answers. 
'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. 
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Separately, Emanuel said he was considering suing Smollett to recover some of the money spent on the probe. 
He says Smollett was only given the treatment he received because he is famous and that anyone else would have been more harshly prosecuted. 

'This looks like because he is an actor, a person of influence, he got treated differently than anybody else. 
'If I, a Jewish mayor in a city with a Jewish population that's three percent, all of a sudden you found a swastika on my front door and all these people are empathetic to me and they come forward, then you find out two weeks later that the swastika, I actually painted it to bring empathy to me. 
'Do you think I would get away with two days at the anti-defamation league as my community service? Really? This is not on the level.  
'Nobody can make sense of this. This is a head scratcher,' he said. 
The State's Attorney's office did not respond to DailyMail.com's questions on Wednesday about how and when it was decided that Smollett would complete community service. 
His attorneys say it was voluntary, as do prosecutors and the organization where he completed - which is run by Jesse Jackson - says it reached out to him when he was initially charged and offered him 'help'.  
They have given no explanation for why, if he chose to do it out on his own, charges were suddenly dropped afterwards.  
Between Saturday and Monday, Smollett spent 16 hours at the Jesse Jackson organization Rainbow Push where he worked in bookstores and interacted with young people. 
The organization said he was one of its most impactful volunteers ever.  
Smollett's lawyer Tina Glandian also went on Good Morning America on Wednesday to plead her case. 
She said that Smollett was innocent and that prosecutors had decided to drop the charges because they could not prove them, despite Magats saying repeatedly that he was satisfied with the evidence. 
'If they believe the charges, they would never have dismissed the case.
'This is such a high profile case. Their actions speak louder than words,' she said. 
She claimed that it was the 'state of Illinois' that launched the 16 charges against Smollett when in fact it was a grand jury which reached that decision, weeks after prosecutors charged Smollett with just one count.  
Glandian said they were 'weighing their options' on whether or not to sue the city of the police department and that Smollett was eager to get back to work. 
'We're weighing our options now for Jussie.
'For now, he just wants his career and his life back. He did not ask for any of this. He was the victim of a crime.
'This has spiraled out of control and become a political incident.' 
She said that the reason Smollett and Nigerian brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo were exchanging text messages and phone calls in the hours before and after the January 29 incident was because they were due to meet up for personal training but Smollett's flight was delayed - something he documented in Instagram stories. 
Glandian also said it was a lie that prosecutors had 'proof' Smollett sent himself the threatening letter he received days before the attack. 
'We're shocked at the mayor and the police superintendent doubling down after the prosecutor took a dispassionate look at the evidence and decided not to bring the charges.'  
The FBI, which never comments on or shares details of ongoing investigations, took over investigation of that element of the case but is yet to bring any charges against Smollett.  
Police in Chicago are casting suspicion over Kim Foxx, the State's Attorney who recused herself in the days before Smollett's arrest, over texts she had exchanged with one of his relatives. 
She, at the request of former Obama aide Tina Tchen, asked Chicago Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson to let the FBI take the lead on the probe. 
At the time, Smollett was still being considered a victim but Tchen said the family had 'concerns' about the number of leaks coming out of Chicago PD. 
Foxx agreed to try to 'convince' Johnson but was ultimately unsuccessful. The Fraternal Order of Police, which represents 8,000 cops, sent a letter to the justice department last week demanding that she face a federal probe for her actions. 
They renewed their request in light of the charges being dropped on Tuesday,  something they say is 'highly suspicious.'    
'Recusing herself, but not her administration, is a distinction without a difference,' Fraternal Order of Police Second Vice President Martin Preib told The New York Post. 'What underling is going to go against their boss’s wishes?' 
Last week, the union called for Foxx to face investigation from the Attorney General for her handling of the investigation. 
Among their concerns are text messages exchanged between Foxx and Smollett's relatives. 
One, written by Smollett's relative after Foxx told them she was trying to convince the police to hand over the probe, is of particular worry.
Smollett's relative, who was not identified when the texts became public earlier this month, replied: 'OMG this would be a huge victory' when Foxx said she was 'trying' to get it handed over. 
The union says her recusing herself from the probe once Smollett was charged was not enough. 
Kevin Graham, the union's president, said: '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.' 
Meanwhile, the FBI will continue investigating a threatening letter that Smollett received at the studio in Chicago where Empire is filmed on January 22, just days before he was attacked. 
Chicago police later said that they believed Smollett sent the letter himself. No photographs of it emerged until after the alleged attack on January 29.  
On Tuesday, First Assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats, the prosecutor who decided to drop the charges against Smollett, admitted that he does not believe the actor is innocent. Magats claimed he dropped the case because the actor has no criminal background.
'I do not believe he is innocent,' Magats told CBS on Tuesday afternoon.     
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. 
Legal experts have since described the decision as 'outrageous'. 
Irv Miller, CBS' legal analyst, said the outcome is unprecedented. 'I must have talked to 50 prosecutors and judges today and every one of them was shaking their heads. 
'Never seen anything like it before. It's frankly outrageous,' he said. 
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 Coalition, 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.  
Magats 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.' 
The attorney also insisted that Foxx did not impact his decision.  
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?' 
'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. 
'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 unambiguous 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. 
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 had been facing up to 48 years behind bars on 16 felony counts of lying to police by claiming he was attacked on January 29 by two men he said he could not identify and who he said called him racial and homophobic slurs. 
On Tuesday, an emergency hearing was scheduled during which the charges were suddenly dropped. Smollett agreed to surrender his $10,000 bond and walked out of court a free man.
His lawyers say there was no plea deal but CBS gave details of the community service he completed as part of their agreement and his attorney admitted he paid the bond because he wanted to move on with his life. 
Smollett spent 16 hours between Saturday and Monday at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition where staff say he was 'accessible' to people and gave 'critique' to young people on film making.  
The question of why prosecutors who had boasted about their evidence against him suddenly dropped the case remains. 
In his statement on Tuesday, Smollett gave no other explanation for the attack - which his personal trainers carried out on him - but said he had been truthful all along in his claims that he did not recognize them when they jumped him.  
'I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago and all over the country and world who have prayed for me, supported me and shown me love. 
'No one will ever know how much that has meant to me. Not for a moment was it in vain,' he said. 
After making his statement, Smollett took selfies with fans outside the courthouse then got into a waiting car.  
He refused to say whether he planned to fight against the Chicago Police Department or the prosecutor's office for accusing him of staging the January 29 attack, but said he would continue to 'fight for justice' and for the 'marginalized' people of the world. 
It remains unclear what prompted the decision but the Cook County's State's Attorney's office said it was due in part to Smollett's 'volunteer service in the community'.  
20th Century Fox said it was 'gratified' that he had been cleared. 
'Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed,' a spokesman said.   
On Tuesday morning, a State's Attorney's Office spokesman told DailyMail.com it was confident in the police investigation into him and still satisfied with its decision to bring charges but would not say why then he was not being prosecuted to the full extent of the law. 
'After reviewing all of the facts and circumstanced 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,' they said.    
Smollett said in his statement that he would 'not be his mother's son' if he was capable of 'even a drop' of what he had been accused of. 
He promised to continue to 'fight for the marginalized' in society and said he had been truthful 'on every single level since day one'.
His lawyers refused to answer reporters' questions about whether Smollett would sue the city and admitted that Smollett had agreed to forfeit his bond in order to 'move on'. 
'I have no idea what occurred in this case or why it occurred. I can just say that things seem to spiral somewhat out of control. 
'We've gotten to a result that is the right result and we are happy for that,' his lawyer, Patricia Brown Holmes said. 
She said that brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo were the ones who attacked Smollett but gave no explanation as to why they did it. 
There was confusion over whether or not the decision was part of a deal. 
Smollett's attorneys insisted that it wasn't. 
Police also said it was not usual for someone who has been vindicated and had the charges against them dropped to still give money to the city. 
The Fraternal Order of Police, which represents 8,000 cops, has already called for the Attorney General to investigate Foxx for her handling of the case because she tried to have it turned over to the FBI at the request of Smollett's family in the days after the attack. 
She was contacted by Tchen, Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, on February 1, on behalf of the Smollett family.
Tchen wanted her to convince Chicago PD to hand the investigation over to the FBI and Foxx agreed to try to.  
On Tuesday, Smollett's family welcomed the news and said they were 'looking forward to bringing the real perpetrators to justice'. 
'Our son and brother is an innocent man whose name and character has been (sic) unjustly smeared. Jussie is a son, a brother, a partner, a champion for human rights, and a genuine soul who would never be capable of what he was falsely accused of. 
'He was the victim of an assault and then falsely blamed for his own attack. This morning the truth has prevailed and he has been vindicated. 
'All charges have been dismissed and his record expunged. 
'The painful incidents we've witnessed him endure over the past 7 weeks have been heartbreaking and unjust to say the least. 
'While many were quick to rush to judgement before hearing the actual truth, we are grateful that the truth about Jussie has come to light.
'We look forward to bringing the real perpetrators to justice. We thank God and our village for standing by us during this trying time,' their statement said. 
The case never went to the FBI and Chicago PD came down heavily on Smollett once he was arrested. 
Smollett was initially indicted by prosecutors with just one charge but a grand jury added another 15 on to it for every time he allegedly lied.  
The actor was accused of paying Abel and Ola to attack him on January 29 outside his apartment at around 2am as he walked home from a Subway. 
He claimed that he did not recognize the attackers but said they called him a 'f****t', n****r' and shouted: 'This is MAGA country!' 
For weeks, police insisted Smollett was still the victim but gradually, suspicion grew as details of the probe were leaked, including the fact that he had not agreed to hand over his phone for police to search. 
Eventually, on February 21, Smollett was arrested. 
In a blistering press conference, he was eviscerated by Chicago Police Superintendent Johnson who accused him of lying about the attack to leverage it to get a raise on Empire.
They even claimed he gave himself facial injuries to try to make the attack more believable. Smollett denied it angrily and posted bail but prosecutors were confident. 
They took the unusual step of publishing his full bond proffer which detailed all the evidence they said they had against him, including phone calls between him and the brothers before and after the attack. 
They also used a check he'd given them, purportedly for personal training, as apparent proof that he paid them for the attack. 
Smollett was excluded from the final two episodes of Empire as a result of the scandal.  
The brothers are who told police that he paid them to stage the attack, but police insisted vociferously to have other evidence that backed up their claim.
Johnson even went on Good Morning America himself to say the state had more evidence against Smollett that had not been presented in an appearance after Smollett's arrest. 
In a statement on Tuesday morning, Smollett's lawyers revealed the news that the charges had been dropped. 
'Today, all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of the complaint against him.
'Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th.
'He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement.
'Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion.
'That is wrong. It is a reminder that as a victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result.
'Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career.' 


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 a motion to seal the case but there is no written record of it and now it has been wiped from the court's records. 
Smollett 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. 
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.  
Prosecutors seem to have struck a deal with Smollett in secrecy. 
He completed his community service before anyone was told that the charges would be dropped. 
His office and the organization where he completed it both say it was not court ordered and that he chose to do it on his own. 
But the State's Attorney's office used it as part of its decision to drop the case. 
'After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’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,' the office said.  
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.  

Powered by Blogger.