Yes, this case is still going on, unfortunately.
Former Empire star Jussie Smollett is still locked in a battle with the city of Chicago. Page Six states that Smollett is asking a Chicago court to dismiss the charges against him once again. In a motion made public on Tuesday (Sept.22), he argues that the grand jury testimony against him is invalid.
In the motion that was filed initially on Sept.9, Smollett’s legal team is arguing their client’s second indictment is based on “illegal and incompetent evidence” that was initially gathered from Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo when Smollett was first charged. The charges were subsequently ruled invalid.
The Osundairo brothers became acquainted with Smollett while on the set of Empire, claimed the actor paid them to help him stage a hate crime because he was allegedly big mad at his salary. The rest is history.
Smollett thought he was in the clear when the charges against him were dropped in March of last year. BUT, after Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself from the case, Chicago Judge Michael Toomin ruled the case was invalid from Feb. 13, 2019. With his decision, Toomin ruled that everything about that case from that day going forward invalid, including the decision to drop the charges against him and to “restore the public’s faith in the criminal justice system,” the case needs to be revisited.
In Smollett’s motion for dismissal, his attorneys argue:
“The OSP cannot have it both ways. It cannot convene a special grand jury based on Judge Toomin’s Order but then rely on the transcripts from those ‘void’ proceedings to secure a new indictment.“
“Furthermore, there is no legitimate reason why the Osundairo brothers were not called to provide live testimony to the special grand jury, particularly when they live locally in Chicago, were available and cooperating with the OSP, and reportedly met with the OSP for hours only one month earlier.”
“The only conceivable reason for not producing them” is because the “OSP did not want to suborn further perjury by the Osundairo brothers, it did not want to risk having the brothers make additional contradictory statements prior to trial, and it did not want to allow the jurors their statutory right to question the Osundairo brothers about the incident.”
Smollett’s attorneys further argued that the omissions were “substantial and prejudicial” and called for the charges against Smollett to be dropped based on the grounds he was not granted hid due process rights as required by the Fifth Amendment.
They also argue that prosecutors ignored an essential statutory requirement telling grand jurors they have the right to request live testimony if they so choose to.
“Thus, based on the record available to the defense, the grand jurors were not aware that they could subpoena and question the Osundairo brothers instead of relying on their one-sided testimony presented by the OSP from proceedings which have been invalidated by the court. The grand jurors were also not advised that they had the power to make their own investigation unaided by the special prosecutor or the court.“
“The OSP’s failure to inform the special grand jury at the commencement of the proceedings, before each witness testified, and before a true bill was requested, misled the grand jury and deprived Mr. Smollett of his right to the due process of law.”
Looks like Jussie Smollett is in for a long fight.
Photo: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz