Jussie Smollett’s lawyers slammed a judge’s decision to appoint a special prosecutor to re-investigate the dropped, high-profile criminal case against the actor, new court filings released Friday reveal.
Late last month, Cook County Judge Michael Toomin appointed a special prosecutor who could bring new criminal charges against the “Empire” star — after a series of questionable moves from Chicago State’s attorney Kim Foxx.
Smollett attorneys Tina Glandian and Mark J. Geragos on Friday blasted the judge’s actions.
“This case has been a travesty of justice and an unprecedented deprivation of Mr. Smollett’s constitutional rights, including the presumption of innocence and right to a fair trial,” the motion states. “Not only have the media and the public failed to critically look at the evidence (and lack thereof) against Mr. Smollett, but now, the court has accepted false media reports to presume Mr. Smollett guilty of charges which he pled not guilty to and which were dismissed against him.”
Toomin had scolded Foxx’s decision to “colloquially recuse” herself from Smollett’s case and appoint her top deputy, Joseph Magats, in her stead after it was revealed she’d texted with members of Smollett’s family about the investigation and promised to help them.
But in an “instanter” document attached to Friday’s motion, the lawyers argued that the court “misapprehended the law when it ruled that Ms. Foxx’s informal ‘recusal’ rendered the entirety of the proceedings — from Mr. Smollett’s arrest to the dismissal of the charges against him — null and void.”
“If the court’s conclusions were to be accepted, the City of Chicago has committed an egregious violation of Mr. Smollett’s civil rights by depriving him of his liberty and property without due process of law in violation of the Fourth Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the document said.
The motion also includes evidence backing Smollett’s account that he was attacked by two masked men, brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who called him racist and homophobic slurs and lopped a noose around his neck back in January. The Osundairos had claimed that Smollett recruited and paid them off to carry out the attack.
The brothers’ attorney, Gloria Schmidt, told the Chicago Tribune Friday she hadn’t yet read the new filings but expressed confidence that “the evidence will come out.”
“My clients have fully cooperated, and will continue to fully cooperate with [prosecutors] and the police,” she told the paper.
Smollett, 37, has repeatedly insisted that he’s innocent. He was arrested and charged with filing a false police report “to advance his career.” However, his case was later dropped.
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