Source: James Barrett
Former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett filed a motion Friday requesting that the court nullify an order last month assigning a special prosecutor to look into the handling of his case after its sudden dismissal by embattled State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
“Jussie Smollett, by his attorneys, Geragos & Geragos, respectfully requests that this Court grant his Motion, vacate the June 21, 2019 Order, and deny the Petition to Appoint a Special Prosecutor,” reads the filing submitted by his attorneys, Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian, as reported by Deadline Friday.
Last month, Judge Michael Toomin ruled that Foxx’s decision to appoint a member of her own office to oversee the case after she “withdrew” over potential conflicts of interest was not legal. Toom also empowered the special prosecutor to potentially bring charges against Smollett if the prosecutor has “reasonable grounds” to suspect that the actor was guilty of criminal conduct.
In another passage of the filing highlighted by Deadline, Smollett’s lawyers state that if their request to drop the prosecutor altogether is denied, they want the scope of the investigation to be narrowed. “In the event the Court is not inclined to grant the Motion, Mr. Smollett, by his attorneys, Geragos & Geragos, respectfully requests that the Court modify the June 21, 2019 Order to clarify that the special prosecutor may investigate and prosecute potential misconduct only, and may not further prosecute Mr. Smollett for the charges that were previously brought and dismissed against him,” the motion reads.
Toomin’s decision to appoint a special prosecutor came after Foxx abruptly — and without warning to other city officials — dropped all 16 felony charges against Smollett without requiring an admission of guilt or any additional recompense to the city. The move stunned other officials, including the chief of police and the mayor, and prompted rebukes from legal experts and other state’s attorneys.
Foxx’s office later admitted that they still believed the initial charges against Smollett were warranted and that they had confidence in the investigation of the Chicago Police Department, which determined that the actor staged a fake attack on himself.
But Smollett’s laywers now lay the blame fully on the two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo — with whom police say he “orchestrated” the faux hate crime against himself — describing their testimony to police in the court filing as “self-serving.”
The actor’s lawyers also suggest that another potential conspirator might be involved. Deadline underscores that the actor’s lawyers “cite a possible helper of sorts in an unidentified and previous[ly] unmentioned third man, who witnesses supposedly claim was at the early morning scene.”
Meanwhile, Smollett’s two high-profile attorneys are facing a defamation suit brought by the brothers, and Smollett faces a civil suit from the City of Chicago for the $130,000 they say they wasted on investigating the staged “attack.”