Jussie Smollett Indicted On 16 Felony Counts… Attorney Says He’s Victim Of ‘Media Gangbang’

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Empire’s Jussie Smollett is currently out on bond on a single count of filing a false police report with the Chicago Police Department. But things just got radically worse for the actor turned activist. Yesterday, prosecutors announced that a Cook County grand jury had concluded its investigation into Smollett’s alleged “hate crime” hoax. They returned a 16-count indictment against the actor in connection with the January 29th incident, in which Smollett claimed he was approached and beaten by two Trump supporters.

According to CBS Chicago, the “jury returned 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct against the actor for allegedly staging a hate crime attack.” He was also accused of falsifying a crime. If convicted on all counts, Smollett could face 48 years in prison and have to pay up to $400,000 in fines. However, it is far more likely he will cut a plea deal and not serve any time at all. That’s our legal system for you.

CWB Chicago is reporting that the “grand jury’s true bill states that Smollett lied about the attack to two separate police officers — the beat cop who took his initial report and a detective who conducted a follow-up interview the same day.”

Those charges are in addition to the “felony disorderly conduct — false report” that Smollett was charged with last month. It was decided to hit him with that single count while authorities awaited the decision of a “John Doe” jury. That’s a jury that convenes daily in Chicago criminal court and analyzes evidence presented without knowledge of the perpetrator. Although prosecutors had already issued the single charge, the grand jury was evidently processing evidence supplied by the Chicago Police Department. Each of these new charges carries a potential jail sentence of up to four years.

From The Daily Wire:

“The Chicago grand jury supplied its decision in two parts. In the first part, “the grand jury found that Smollet filed a false police report around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29th in which he told an officer that he was attacked near 341 East Lower North Water Street by two unknown men who were dressed in black and one of whom wore a ski mask,” according to CWB. The jury issued a separate charge for each independent statement regarding a crime made during Smollett’s interview; one charge for alleging racial slurs, one charge for accusations that the perpetrators threw a noxious substance on Smollett, and so on.

“In the second set of charges, the grand jury analyzed “Smollett’s alleged false reporting of the incident to a police detective later the same day.” Again, the jury returned one count for each individual false statement, this time including counts for Smollett’s description of his attackers.

“Unfortunately for Smollett, he is also awaiting the outcome of a Federal investigation involving the United States Postal Inspector, over whether Smollett mailed a threatening letter, containing a “white powder” that turned out to be crushed Tylenol, to himself using the United States Postal Service.

“Smollett, of course, insists that his story — that he was attacked by two Trump supporters screaming racial and homophobic slurs and brandishing bleach and a rope, outside his downtown Chicago apartment at 2 am on January 29th, after returning from buying a sandwich at a local 24-hour Subway shop — is absolutely true.

“Smollett is due to appear in court next week on the first charge. His attorneys have not specified how he will answer this new set of charges, but Smollett will likely be processed on the new charges during his upcoming appointment because he is already out on bond.”

If this were a regular American citizen, they’d be in jail already over these charges. But because Smollett is a Hollywood celebrity, he is getting special legal dispensation here. That’s not right or ethical. But that doesn’t stop Smollett’s attorneys from calling this outrageous. They kicked into high gear and went melodramatic on the charges immediately.

Such charges have never before been filed on a “victim of a hate crime,” attorney Mark Geragos told anchor Anderson Cooper on CNN’s “AC360.”

“What is happening here is, frankly, a media gangbang of this guy of unprecedented proportions,” Geragos said. “And that’s the reason I got into this. I’ve never seen a media pendulum swing more quickly and viciously and rob somebody of their presumption of innocence like this case. It’s startling the way people assume that he’s guilty.”

So, now the media is to blame. It had nothing to do with evidence against Smollett or what he did. Nice spin. Geragos slammed Chicago investigators, who he insisted did not speak to anyone at 20th Century Fox or from the “Empire” television series over Smollett’s supposed salary frustrations. The network had no comment Friday. Why would they? That’s a personal beef and does not excuse what Smollett did here.

He also slammed the Chicago Police Department over alleged leaks to the media, saying “all of the information that was being leaked was false.” Right. All of the evidence is a lie, right? Dream on.

Smollett’s legal team has accused police of denying him the presumption of innocence. In a statement, Smollett’s attorneys described the actor as “a man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence.” The attorneys also called Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson’s press conference laying out Smollett’s case “an organized law enforcement spectacle.” They always go after the police who are the good guys here.

Smollett has reportedly been written off the final two episodes of the current season of Empire. I wouldn’t count on him returning. He’s toast over this and should be.

The Chicago police should be commended on their work here – the law should operate on solid evidence and the facts and be blind to race, sexual orientation, and celebrity.

Sources: The Daily Wire, The RightScoop, Fox News, Breitbart, The Daily Caller, The Daily Mail

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