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On Thursday, a Chicago judge ruled in favor of a collection of media outlets who requested court documents and investigation records related to “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s alleged fake hate crime, unsealing Smollett’s case file and granting reporters access to the full trove.

The Chicago Sun-Times — one of the papers requesting access to the Smollett file — reported that the Cook County judge, Steven Watkins, ordered the documents unsealed because Smollett and his attorneys had “not shown good cause to rebut the public presumption of access.”

Smollett’s case files were sealed in the same hearing where the Cook County States Attorney announced that they would drop 17 felony counts against the “Empire” actor in return for approximately 16 hours of community service and a $10,000 check — the “down payment” Smollett left with the court when he was let out on bond.

Smollett was, of course, not required to admit that he was guilty of orchestrating an alleged “hate attack” on himself that took place in the early hours of January 29. The 17 charges stem from two interactions Smollett had with police following the attack, and Smollett was hit with one felony count of obstructing justice for each statement made to investigators that a grand jury believed was a lie.

It’s Smollett’s actions in the wake of the “deal” with prosecutors that seem to have convinced Judge Watkins to allow the Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, and others access to the full case file, including an interview Smollett gave proclaiming his own innocence, shortly after his appearance in court.

“Smollett voluntarily appeared on national television speaking about the incident in detail,” Watkins said. “After the March dismissal, he stood in front of numerous cameras… in the courthouse lobby speaking about the case.”

“These are not the actions of a person seeking simply to maintain his privacy or simply to be let alone,” Watkins added.

Watkins did not accept Smollett’s attorneys’ arguments that their client was entitled to a “right to privacy,” adding that the public interest, in this case, outweighed the need to keep the documents sealed.

The court did not give a timeline, Thursday, for when the Smollett case files would be released or what they would contain. The Chicago Police Department has already released a number of documents related to their investigation into whether Smollett was involved in his own attack, but the court file will likely cover what was given to the prosecutor’s office and contain documents filed in relation to Smollett’s alleged “plea deal.”

Although the actor himself has sort of faded from the limelight since the case concluded — the show “Empire” will run for one more season, but Smollett’s character will not return — the Smollett case exposed a series of bizarre policies at work inside the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. In addition to what appears to be preferred treatment given to Smollett, a celebrity, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is now accused of agreeing to lenient sentences in a variety of cases, in the name of a more “progressive” approach to justice.

In one case, Foxx’s office appears to have allowed a violent offender to end his own probation and house arrest simply by disabling his ankle monitor. That offender then went on to murder an off-duty Chicago police officer and severely wound another.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Al

    May 24, 2019 at 2:48 am

    I hope he’s records are unsealed. Why does that creep get special treatment for staging a crime.

  2. abolishliberalism

    May 24, 2019 at 8:02 am

    lol… He didn’t get any prison time but this all may possibly be worse for him. Now everyone will know what a huge D-bag he truly is and all those who defended him even after all the evidence against him came out will also have to wake up and face reality whether they like it or not. You cant just let someone off or believe everything they say because they are your same color, or gay or a member some of other “Protected Class” of people that politicians from a certain party just love to act like they are “helping” out just for the votes. They say he did this all because he wanted a raise, now look what he’s got, He lost his job, will most likely be looked at as a bad choice for future work and not only that, It appears the producers of his show have decided to call it quits so all his costars can all thank him for ending their paychecks. lol suckers!

  3. Wes

    May 24, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Jussie Smollett is guilty of acting out a crime in an effort to promote racial injustice. However, his deceitful act needs to be exposed for what it really was and he needs to own it along with the necessary punishments.

  4. Grace Joy

    May 30, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Amusing that he thought having the records sealed meant he could spread his own revised version of what happened.

    Sounds like State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is in some hot water for several things. No wonder Obama put her into office, to give violent people lenient sentences.

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