Transcript for Was Jussie Smollett’s case compromised by Chicago Police?
We really miss you. Yesterday jussie smollett was released on bail and he returned to the set of “Empire” to apologize for the public spectacle this has become, but this morning producers announced they pulled him off the show for the rest of the season. Yeah. But he still insists that he’s innocent. Sunny, you talked to mark geragos, his lawyer or one of his lawyers. What’s the latest? You know, mark is a good friend of mine. I think most people know that. We had our own show together and I think if I were in trouble, he would be the first call that I would make. He is going to mount a vigorous defense and he’s made it very clear that jussie is still entitled to a presumption of innocence and I think we do need to remember that. And so one thing that he mentioned and I think they’ve made a statement and I think it’s kind of interesting, the police department here had that long press conference and they sort of outlined all the evidence against him, and the public has convicted him, tried and convicted him. And that’s a weird place to be, you know. If this is true — and remember, we don’t know if it’s true. He hasn’t been tried and convicted yet. If it is true, it is shameful, it is heinous. He used police resources. I think victims — there’s going to be a chilling effect. They may not want to come forward. And we know that hate crimes are on the rise and people rarely lie about hate crimes, so there is a problem here. But again, for the police department to come out and lay this all out, we have to still be skeptical. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Did everybody think Casey Anthony was going to be found guilty? Yes. Did everybody think O.J. Was going to be found guilty? Yes. And those people were not found guilty. So mark’s point is wait until the defense has its day in court. Why do you think — because I noticed the same thing with the police yesterday, the Chicago police, just how detailed they were every second of the way. It seems to me to be a little bit unusual but maybe they were trying — they seemed emotional about it, they seemed angry. They wanted it to appear like they had control of the situation. But is that a good legal case for him? I think a lot of defense attorneys will say that it was unethical and I know when I was prosecuting cases I wouldn’t let the other side see my entire playbook, because what’s going to happen is if you get a really good defense attorney they’re going to try to rebut it, rebut it. In 2016 Rahm Emanuel ordered an investigation. There were many systemic failures there. They found it was rife with racism. They don’t necessarily come to the playbook with clean hands. Look, I think to the question of why they put so much evidence out there and why they talked about it in suchil, a couple of things. First, they put some of the stuff out there because they wanted the public’s help. They put the video. There was information that got out because they wanted the help. But also, it was jussie smollett putting out a lot of this information. When he gave interviews, he spoke off the record with some reporters. It was TMZ, the entire thing about the red hats, about what they had said, the news, all of that. He also spoke with our own robin Roberts and said he was the victim. From hish. So I think if he — part of the reason that he’s getting tried in the public court, the court of public opinion, it’s his own fault and his own mouth. That’s true. That’s a great point. That’s what got me the most is when he spoke publicly. If you turns out to be hoax, how can you talk to publicly. His motive was to get a better contract so you have to do that publicly. One of the things that I thought was strange was he wouldn’t hand over his phone. If I’m someone who has been attacked in one way or another, I would want to find whoever did it. I would give up anything, my computer, my phones, whatever, my records of where I was and from the beginning I think that was one of the first things that I believe you said — I don’t remember — but the fact that he wasn’t being as forthcoming as necessarily I would be if I were in that situation. That and he didn’t file a police report as quickly — I’m still talking, thank you. Also, he said I come really, really hard against 45 which is the politics that we were talking about yesterday. And you said, Ana, W thought was actually very poignant, a lot of people feel conned by this. A lot of people who came out defending him, friends, people in the media, and I think that’s why he’s getting the backlash he’s getting right now. To that point, there’s something that occurred to me because I also as someone who interviewed him and spent time withhim, I sent out prayers and I was thinking about him and I felt conned and I felt embarrassed. Then I took a step back and I said, you know, I don’t think that people that believed him and wanted to support someone who was purporting to be a victim should be embarrassed because we need to believe people that are saying that they were victims of hate crimes. The person, if this is all true, that should be embarrassed is jussie smollett. He should be embarrassed for taking advantage of our kindness if it’s true. All I see is this on the news now. This is the big story. It’s wiped everything away. Until Michael Cohen talks next Wednesday this is what we’re going to hear. I am trying to convince joy Behar to live tweet the Michael Cohen testimony. That will never happen. You know what I would like to say, what is upsetting about this being front page news is that hate crimes are on the rise and the thing that we’re not talking about is the domestic terrorist, 49-year-old Christopher Paul Hasson who’s the U.S. Coast guard lieutenant, a white supremacist who was hiding in plain sight, dreamed of mass murder, plotted to target lawmakers, journalists, including my friends, Chris Cuomo, don lemon, van Jones, Elizabeth Warren, kamala Harris, Cory booker, and somehow his hate is real and yet we’re not talking about that. How about my two guys — that’s freedom of speech. Because we worship the culture of celebrity in this country. I do agree this should be getting as much attention. Are you going to say he’s innocent also because the lawyer — I don’t know if you just said this, but he said negative thoughts about people are not — is not a crime. Yeah. Is he going to get off also, this guy? We’ll see. If you Google mine kumph you’ll see that — By the way, thank god negative thoughts about people are not a crime. We would be there for life. When I was a kid, I grew up catholic, it was a sin to have an evil thought. There were a lot of things that were a sin that we ended up doing. This guy was going to plot a mass genocide and we haven’t heard yet, I don’t think, from the president. We have a legal note. I’m sorry. Smollett’s attorneys released a statement saying, like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been reportedly leaked — Repeatedly leaked. Sorry. Given these circumstances we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.
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