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Jussie Smollett Returns, Doubles Down

Actor Jussie Smollett leaves court in Chicago, Ill., March 26, 2019. (Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters)

Jussie Smollett very obviously lied to police when he claimed he was attacked by two men who happened to be carrying around a noose and a bottle of an unknown liquid (which Smollett or someone close to him claimed was bleach for a TMZ story) on a frosty Chicago night two and a half years ago. Smollett’s apparent motive for perpetrating the most notorious hate-crime hoax since the Tawana Brawley incident in the 1980s was to increase his leverage in salary negotiations on his Fox television show Empire, from which he was fired.

Today Smollett was back in court, and again insisted (this time to a Fox News reporter) that he was innocent. He claimed he was caught up in a “dog and pony show,’” the network reported. As Emily Zanotti writes on The Daily Wire, after charges against Smollett were dropped by the Cook County State’s Attorney, who nonsensically failed to secure a guilty plea in the process, a special prosecutor re-launched charges that Smollett had lied to police.

Although plenty of evidence has been collected against him, the case is still barely moving forward. Today Smollett was in court because of a possible conflict of interest involving his attorney, who has also had discussions with the two brothers Smollett apparently hired to help stage the fictitious attack on him and who would presumably testify against him if the case went to trial. The people of Chicago deserve a speedy resolution to this farcical case.

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