Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday morning doubled down on his outrage following prosecutors' stunning move the day before to drop all charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett who was accused of filing a false police report and orchestrating a hate crime against himself in late January.
"You have the state's attorney's office saying he's not exonerated, he actually did commit this hoax. [Smollett is] saying he's innocent, and his words are true," Emanuel told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America." "They better get their story straight. Because this is actually making ... fools of all of us."
On Tuesday, Emanuel lashed out at the dropped charges decision, calling it a "whitewash of justice."
"From top to bottom, this is not on the level," he added. "There needs to be a level of accountability throughout the system, and this sends an unambiguous message that there is no accountability, and that is wrong."
What did the prosecutor who dropped Smollett's charges have to say?
Joseph Magats — the first assistant Cook County state's attorney who dropped Smollett's charges — told WBBM-TV Tuesday regarding the actor, "I do not believe he is innocent."
Magats took over the case after Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself. Foxx reportedly asked Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to let the FBI investigate Smollett's hate crime allegations after the former chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama told Foxx that Smollett's family was concerned about the police probe, WMAQ-TV reported, citing several media outlets.
Magats took into consideration Smollett's lack of a criminal history and that his disorderly conduct charges were "low-level" felonies, ABC News said.
And Magats also took issue with Emanuel's "whitewash of justice" accusation.
"Not true, it's just not," he told WBBM. "It's not a whitewash, [Smollett] did community service, he has forfeited his bond, it's just not a whitewash."
A spokesman for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition — founded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson — told WBBM that Smollett performed a total of 16 hours of service over two days. Magats added to the station that Smollett's community service — which he said took place after the actor's indictment — was a factor in his decision to drop the charges against Smollett.
Smollett case reportedly wiped off database 'as if it never existed'
In the meantime, ABC News' senior national correspondent Terry Moran issued a "celebrity justice" tweet concerning Smollett on Tuesday, saying "Cook County clerk's office tells ABC they were shocked that no written motions were filed with the court in connection with today's surprising dismissal in the Smollett case. On top of that, the case has been wiped off their database as if it never existed."
Celebrity justice: Cook County clerk’s office tells @ABC they were shocked that no written motions were filed wit… https://t.co/Qq59TLkhHh— Terry Moran (@Terry Moran) 1553656713.0
'None of this adds up'
Emanuel told Stephanopoulos that Smollett's community service seemed a flimsy factor for dropped charges against him and that "none of this adds up."
"Let's get to the bottom of this. Let's find out what happened," Emanuel said. "Especially [in] a city that embraced not only him as an actor but more importantly the values of being ... whoever you are, whoever you love, whatever your background is, you have a home here. He took that, turned it around, and tried to self-promote himself. And the fact is, he's walking around with no sense of contrition, no sense of remorse, and the fact is also the state's attorney is saying he's actually guilty of this hoax, he's walking around saying, 'No, I'm innocent. Everything I said is true.' One is right, one is wrong."
Smollett spoke to reporters after charges against him were dropped Tuesday and said he has been "truthful" from the beginning.
Jussie Smollett: "I've been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one...This has been an incredib… https://t.co/5ZJP8PCZly— CBS News (@CBS News) 1553616838.0
"I've been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one," Smollet said. "I would not be my mother's son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith, and I am a man that has knowledge of my history, and I would not bring my family, our lives, or the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn't."
One of Smollett's attorneys, Tina Glandian, criticized prosecutors, telling ABC News that if they "believed the charges they never would have dismissed the case."
"I'm saying their actions speak louder than words," she added to the network. "They could have proceeded in a variety of ways. We were ready to move forward. We appeared in court and pled [sic] not guilty. We were ready to fight the charges and they're the ones who voluntarily discontinued the matter, so I think that speaks volumes."
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