Smollett was charged with 6 counts for disorderly conduct. He could spend up to 3 years in prison.
Democrats, media figures and others were quick to condemn the racist and homophobic attack on actor Jussie Smollett in 2019. They blamed a culture of hatred fostered by Trump. But their words could come back to bite if Smollett is sentenced to up to three years for allegedly fabricating this assault.
Smollett initially told police that two men in masks attacked him at his Chicago apartment at 2 AM on Jan 29, 2019. They hurled homophobic and racist slurs at his face, used chemicals against him, tied a noose around him’s neck and said he was in “MAGA land.” Smollett was admitted to the hospital for a night and then released with no serious injuries.
Many 2020 Democratic presidential candidates immediately condemned this alleged attack. The attack was condemned by several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including Kamala Harris (then a California senator) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Both and HTML2_ denounced the alleged attack, calling it “an attempted modern day lynching.” President Biden was also running at the time. Tweet that homophobia and racism “have no place in our streets or hearts”
“The racist, homophobic attack against Jussie Slolett is an abominable example of the growing hostility towards minorities throughout the country,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), tweeted. We must all work together to eliminate violence and bigotry.
“The racist and homophobic attack against @JussieSmollett was an affront our humanity,” Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Speaker at the time tweeted. “No one should ever be attacked because of who they are or the people they love.”
Smollett will now be tried on the charges of organising the attack against him.
Smollett’s story unravelled as Chicago police began to investigate the attack in 2019. After Smollett’s report was filed, police claimed that Smollett had paid two of his friends to stage the attack. This was because Smollett was unhappy about his salary from “Empire.” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson stated that Smollett “took advantage” of the anger and pain of racism in order to advance his career. Smollett was then arrested and charged with fabricating an attack.
Conservatives attacked the left for jumping to conclusions about Smollett’s story. Trump tweeted, after Smollett was arrested in February 2019, that he initially called the reports of the attack “horrible” and asked “What about MAGA? And the tens to millions of people you insulted by your racist and dangerous remarks!”
Harris, who had tweeted her initial message, said that she was “sad and frustrated” by the developments.
Harris stated that false claims to police not only take away resources from serious investigations, but also make it harder for victims of crime to come forward. Harris made this statement in February 2019. “Also, it is important to speak truthfully: Hate crimes are increasing in America.”
Booker followed a similar approach at that time. He declined to comment on the Smollett cases and instead called attention to the rise in “vicious and horrific, cruel violence” in the country, which was motivated by hate and bias.
Pelosi deleted the initial tweet she sent supporting Smollett, but she resisted commenting. Fox News Digital reached out to her office for comment but she did not reply.
Biden and Sanders are yet to comment on any developments in the case. However, their initial tweets in support of Smollett still remain active on their respective accounts. Fox News Digital reached out to their offices for comment but they did not respond.
The Cook County State Attorney’s Office filed a 16-count felony indictment against Smollett on March 7, 2019, shortly after his initial arrest. Smollett was indicted on 16 counts of felony charges. He is accused of staging the hate crime attack and making false statements to police. Three weeks later, Smollett was indicted on 16 counts of felony murder. He was accused of staging the hate crime attack and making false statements to police. The CCSAO agreed to 15 hours of community service, and that Smollett would forfeit his $10,000 bond.
After the prosecutors dropped all charges without giving any explanation, a judge appointed Dan Webb, an ex-U.S. attorney, as a special prosecutor to investigate the original investigation.
Webb ultimately determined Smollett “planned” and “participated in a hate crime attack and then made many false statements to Chicago Police Department officers multiple times, reporting a hate crime that he knew hadn’t occurred.
Webb’s investigation led to a six-count indictment by a Cook County grand jury in February 2020. It charges Smollett, who was accused of making false reports to Chicago police.
Smollett plead not guilty. His defense team filed a motion for dismissal of the new double-jeopardy charges. However, a judge dismissed that motion in June 2020. Smollett claimed that he didn’t do anything wrong, telling the TMZ that he is innocent.
Smollett was charged with felony disorderly behavior. Although a class 4 felony can carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison, experts believe it is more likely that Smollett will be placed on probation and ordered to do community service if convicted.