The actor who claimed that he was the subject of an attack at the hands of supporters of President Donald J. Trump due to his race and sexual orientation is not cooperating with police to help them verify those facts.
“Chicago police CONFIRM Jussie Smollett and his music manager, Brandon Moore, told detectives they were on the phone when Smollett was being attacked,” according to Rob Elgas of ABC. “However, detectives are unable to ‘independently verify’ the call occurred because Smollett refused to turn over his phone.”
However, detectives are unable to "independently verify" the call occurred because Smollett refused to turn over his phone.
— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) January 31, 2019
Many agree that Smollett would want to use any evidence at his disposal to prove that he was not fabricating his claims, especially since he is outwardly anti-Trump, which would provide a motive for him to fake such an attack.
“Shut the hell up you bitch ass nigga. You will continue to run this country further into the ground and risk lives every time you breathe. You’re not the president. Just a dumpster full of hate. FOH. Sick to my stomach that literal shit currently represents America to the world,” Smollett Tweeted at Trump in Jan. 2018.
Shut the hell up you bitch ass nigga. You will continue to run this country further into the ground and risk lives every time you breathe. You’re not the president. Just a dumpster full of hate. FOH. Sick to my stomach that literal shit currently represents America to the world. https://t.co/qoNWllmZIm
— Jussie Smollett (@JussieSmollett) January 12, 2018
Since the alleged attack, Smollett media outlets like CBS, and leftist politicians like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have predictably used the unproven incident to ascribe racism and homophobia to Trump supporters.
Meanwhile, police have reviewed “hundreds of hours” of surveillance tape and still have not been able to confirm that Smollett was even attacked in the first place.
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Appeals Court Refuses to Expunge Joe Arpaio’s Contempt Conviction After Presidential Pardon
A judge isn’t happy about the pardon.
A federal appeals court is refusing to expunge former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpario’s contempt of court conviction, after the sheriff was granted a presidential pardon by President Trump.
Such a legal move is rare if not unprecedented for the recipient of a presidential pardon. Usually federal and state court systems dismiss the convictions of people granted presidential pardon.
Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court in 2017 for refusing to change the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department’s practices after a judge mandated that the agency cease immigration raids.
Three judges of the liberal San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court upheld a ruling from a lower circuit court refusing to expunge the legal record of Arpaio’s conviction. The move sets new legal precedent for a recipient of a presidential pardon.
Arpaio was a frequent target of Eric Holder and the Obama administration, often coming under intense DOJ scrutiny for the practices of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department.
Arpaio ran for the United States Senate in 2018, coming in third in the Republican Primart behind Martha McSally and Kelli Ward. He’s now running for his old position as Maricopa County Sheriff once more at the ripe age of 87.
In any case, presidential pardons have traditionally resulted in dismissal of criminal convictions in federal and state courts. It’s hard to think of the 9th Circuit’s decision to maintain the conviction as anything more than a political slight to President Trump.
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