Jussie Smollett is refusing to give up in his hate crime hoax case even after a jury found him guilty of staging the 2019 incident in which he lied to police, falsely claiming two Trump supporters physically assaulted him.
On Monday, attorneys for the former Empire actor filed a motion asking a Chicago court to throw out the jury’s guilty verdict and find Smollett not guilty, or instead, grant him a new trial, according to a report from CBS 2 Chicago.
The 103-page filing reportedly alleges the trial judge violated Smollett’s Sixth Amendment rights by “prevent(ing) the defense from “actively participating in jury selection.” They also claim the judge made a wrong ruling when defense attorneys argued that some prospective jurors had been excluded at prosecutors’ request based on their race.
In another allegation that beggars belief, Smollett’s lawyers claim the court deprived the actor of his due process right to a “public trial,” saying members of the public and sometimes the news media couldn’t get into the courtroom throughout much of the trial until an overflow room was set up.
In December, a jury found the actor guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false reports to police. Two Nigerian bodybuilding brothers testified Smollett paid them $3,500 for faking the attack.
The actor told police that two Trump supporters assaulted him by putting a noose around his neck, pouring bleach on him, and declaring “This is MAGA country.”
Smollett, who continues to maintain his innocence, was a close ally of the Obama’s, joining them on the campaign trail. During the convoluted case, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx mysteriously dropped all charges against the actor. It was believed former Michelle Obama aide Tina Tchen pressured Foxx not to prosecute him.
After a public outcry, the charges were re-instated by a special prosecutor
Politicians who believed Smollett’s lie and publicly defended the actor include now-President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.