The Latest in the Smollett Saga

Discussion in 'Present & Current Events' started by wwkirk, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. wwkirk

    wwkirk Celestial

    Dan K. Webb Is Named Special Prosecutor in Jussie Smollett Case

    Mr. Webb, a former United States attorney, will consider whether renewed charges against the actor are warranted.

    [​IMG]Dan K. Webb, a former United States attorney who was a special counsel in the Iran-contra affair, is the special prosecutor in the Smollett case. CreditCreditBrendan Hoffman/Getty Images
    By Julia Jacobs and Robert Chiarito
    • Aug. 23, 2019Updated 12:28 p.m. ET
    A judge in Chicago on Friday named a special prosecutor who will investigate how local officials handled the case against Jussie Smollett, who was accused of paying two acquaintances to attack him, making an assault look like a racist and homophobic hate crime.

    The new special prosecutor, Dan K. Webb, a Republican, is a former United States attorney and worked as a special counsel in the Iran-contra affair. The appointment came two months after Judge Michael P. Toomin of Cook County ordered that a lawyer be named to take another look at the case. The judge was charged with finding someone to assess whether there was any misconduct in the way the case was managed and whether there is justification for renewing the prosecution of Mr. Smollett, whose felony charges were dropped in March.

    Mr. Webb told reporters on Friday that his firm would work on the case pro bono, billing Cook County for out-of-pocket expenses but not legal fees. One of Mr. Webb’s earliest tasks as special prosecutor, he said, would be filing a motion to request a special grand jury to assist him.

    [A timeline of the Jussie Smollett case.]

    As the United States attorney in Chicago, Mr. Webb was chief prosecutor in Operation Greylord, the undercover investigation of corrupt judges, police officers, lawyers and other public officials in Chicago. Mr. Webb gained international recognition for prosecuting Adm. John M. Poindexter, a former national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, in the Iran-contra affair. In his current role as an executive chairman of the international law firm Winston & Strawn, he is known for defending prominent white-collar clients, including George H. Ryan, the a former Illinois governor, and is considered to be one of the most high-profile lawyers in Chicago.

    the death of David Koschman. Mr. Koschman died after a fight with the nephew of Richard M. Daley, the former mayor of Chicago.

    Despite being consistently associated with Republicans, Mr. Webb supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. Last year, Mr. Webb declined an offer to join President Trump’s legal team, citing “business conflicts.”

    With a case this polarizing, the special prosecutor position likely comes with several months of public scrutiny. Judge Toomin said in court that after reaching out to local state’s attorneys from 101 counties in Illinois, the response was “less than enthusiastic.” Judge Toomin then started interviewing private lawyers, which led him to Mr. Webb. At least two state’s attorneys in Illinois have said publicly that they had turned down the position, explaining that they had no interest in draining their own county’s coffers with what could turn into a lengthy and expensive investigation.

    Judge Toomin said he has known Mr. Webb for more than 50 years, often as an adversary in court when the judge was a public defender and Mr. Webb was a prosecutor. Mr. Webb has a “strong moral compass,” Judge Toomin said.

    [More about what’s left
    to investigate in the Smollett case.]

    In explaining his decision to appoint a special prosecutor, Judge Toomin said that the Cook County state’s attorney, Kim Foxx, who was responsible for prosecuting Mr. Smollett, did not follow the proper procedure in recusing herself. Mr. Toomin said that Ms. Foxx should have asked for a special prosecutor when she separated herself from the case in February; instead, she asked her deputy to take over the prosecution. Ms. Foxx said she recused herself to avoid any perception that she had a conflict of interest after disclosing that she had communicated with representatives of Mr. Smollett’s when he was still considered a victim in the case.

    Prosecutors abruptly dropped felony charges against Jussie Smollett in March. Now, his case will be re-examined by a special prosecutor. CreditPaul Beaty/Associated Press

    When a retired judge from Illinois petitioned the court to assign a special prosecutor to get the “whole truth” of what happened in the case, Ms. Foxx and Mr. Smollett resisted such an appointment. Mr. Smollett’s legal team attempted to get the case reassigned to another judge and asked that the court prohibit a special prosecutor from reopening prosecution of Mr. Smollett. Judge Toomin swiftly batted down Mr. Smollett’s request to intervene in the case.

    Ms. Foxx’s office’s abrupt decision to abandon all felony charges against Mr. Smollett angered some city officials, including Rahm Emanuel, the mayor at the time, and the police superintendent. The city sued Mr. Smollett, demanding that he reimburse them for more than 1,800 overtime hours spent investigating his hate crime report. Mr. Smollett asked that the lawsuit be dismissed, and a federal judge is scheduled consider his request in October.

    In response to the appointment of a special prosecutor in the Smollett case, the Cook County state's attorney’s office released a statement saying, “We pledge our full cooperation to the special prosecutor appointed today to review this matter.”

    Mr. Smollett’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Mr. Smollett’s legal team maintains that their client did not organize a hate crime in January and that two acquaintances, Abimbola Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo, attacked him near his apartment building in downtown Chicago, shouted slurs at him and placed a noose around his neck. The brothers, claiming that Mr. Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, filed a defamation lawsuit against Mr. Smollett’s lawyers.

    Mr. Smollett, who is best known for playing Jamal Lyon on the Fox drama “Empire,” was written out of the show’s most recent season after the police announced that they believed Mr. Smollett planned the attack himself. In June, Fox’s chief executive, Charlie Collier, confirmed at a Television Critics Association event that Mr. Smollett would not be returning for the show’s sixth and final season, which debuts in September.
  2. wwkirk

    wwkirk Celestial

    • Awesome Awesome x 3
  3. wwkirk

    wwkirk Celestial

    I just came across Chappelle's routine. :sparkle:
    • Awesome Awesome x 1
  4. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

    That was great, had to watch it a couple times lol..."sounds like something I would say" lol at the 3:08 mark...

    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. wwkirk

    wwkirk Celestial

    On a lighter note.
    Jussie Smollett and ‘attacker’ allegedly visited upscale Chicago bathhouse
    Visits to an upscale Chicago gay bathhouse may prove that embattled “Empire” star Jussie Smollett was more than friends with his alleged attacker Ambimbola “Abel” Osundairo.

    “They used to party together and he had a sexual relationship with [Abel]. They went to this affluent Chicago bathhouse multiple times and they had to show ID. It’s known as a bathhouse where a lot of affluent black gay men hang out. There should be a record [of their visits],” an insider told Page Six, adding that the bathhouse records may be subpoenaed in Smollett’s upcoming trial on charges of disorderly conduct.

    Abel and his brother, Ola, have denied they are gay and sued Smollett’s Hollywood lawyers, Tina Glandian and Mark Geragos, last year for defamation after they insinuated there was a sexual relationship between Smollett and one of the brothers in an interview with “Good Morning America.”

    The suit claimed the comments put the brothers and their family, who are Nigerian, at risk due to the country’s inhumane laws that state homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years in prison and death by stoning if the person is married.

    “We have sat back and watched lie after lie being fabricated about us in the media only so one big lie can continue to have life. These lies are destroying our character and our reputation in our personal and professional lives,” their attorney, Gloria Schmidt, read in a statement on their behalf at the time.

    A judge dismissed the defamation suit last month. Smollett, however, continues to fight back against the claim that the brothers helped him stage a hoax racial attack against himself in 2019.

    He pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintains he paid the brothers $3,500 for performance-enhancing drugs, not to stage a crime.

    Lawyers for Smollett and the brothers did not comment, but an insider told us Smollett feels like “it’s all one big setup.”
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  6. wwkirk

    wwkirk Celestial

    Jussie Smollett's malicious prosecution lawsuit dismissed by judge

    The judge, U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall, said that Smollett could not file a malicious prosecution claim until after all of the proceedings against him -- including his February 2020 indictment on six counts for allegedly lying to police about the attack -- have ended.

    Kendall said that the Chicago Police Department was motivated to bring Smollett to justice "for a crime it had probable cause to think he committed."
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  7. wwkirk

    wwkirk Celestial

    The newest development.
    Jussie Smollett's double jeopardy claim tossed out by judge

    The essence:
    Jussie Smollett took another hit in court on Friday when a judge shot down the actor's attempt to have the criminal charges against him dropped, telling Smollett that the new charges against him do not violate his right against double jeopardy, being charged twice for the same crime.

    Cook County Judge James Linn explained that the only way double jeopardy would apply is if Smollett was legally punished for what had happened to him since he was charged in connection with the January 2019 incident.

    However, Linn determined that the deal, in which the state's attorney's office agreed to drop charges without requiring Smollett to admit any wrongdoing and Smollett agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond, did not add up to legal punishment.
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