Defense attorney and former prosecutor Bob Bianchi unleashed on the Cook County State Attorney’s office over its decision to drop all charges against Jussie Smollett over the alleged hate crime hoax.
#jussiesmollett #hoax #hatecrime #empire
“Smollett Needs A Mental Health Checkup If He’s Really Thinking About Suing”
April 15th, 2019
Male Reporter: Clearly you think the police are not telling the truth about Jesse, are you going to sue?
Smollett’s Attorney: We’re weighing our options right now for Jesse, what’s really important is he really just wants his career and his life back.
Robert Bianchi: It would be the stupidest thing in the world, when this guy has a sealed record and got the kiss kiss from the Prosecutor in the court to allow this to go forward, to then go sue the police department. Because you know what? In the end, you may be found responsible. He’s never going to sue them. Never, never, never mark my words, and if he does, he needs to have a mental health checkup.
Stephanie Hamill: Joining me now is Bob Bianchi. He is a host for the Law and Crime Network and also a former Prosecutor. Bob, thank you so much for being here with me. Bob, I wanted to get your reaction to the 16 charges being dropped against Jesse Smollett. I know that you have a lot to say about that.
Robert Bianchi: Yeah, I was a person who ran a prosecutorial agency for six years and I was a young baby assistant Prosecutor for seven years. I’ve been in the world of Prosecution for a long time. I take it seriously. I take the oath of office seriously. They did an investigation. They found out that this man was lying. They filed charges, they brought it to a grand jury. Those are the people it’s supposed to determine based upon the evidence whether or not it should go forward. They indict him. They go through this big dog and pony show and then the Prosecutor unilaterally decides to basically end this case without even contacting the police to advise them as to why. The head Prosecutor, the District Attorney themselves Is getting phone calls from people that are advocating on his behalf. The whole thing stinks as far as I’m concerned. The thing that bothers me about this case is, if I were in charge of an agency where this kind of case came in a man of wealth, a man of power, a man of celebrity that decides to ratchet up the racial tensions that exist in this country, that are a serious problem. And says that he’s been the victim of a hate crime and is repeatedly lying to the police. For what? For the benefit of more celebrity, for more attention. I need to make a point as a Prosecutor, I need to deter this conduct. I need to let him know and everyone else that if you lie to police about things like this, you’ve compromised those legitimate cases where people are truly the victims of hate crimes because you made people wonder, well maybe this is a hoax too, so he gets a break. My last point Stephanie is we are putting people away in jail like cordwood for minor offenses in this country, for things like marijuana possession or a kid that it maybe comes from an impoverished area and can’t afford a big-time lawyer and isn’t a big celebrity. And doesn’t have people associated with the President calling in on their behalf, and we’re putting those folks in jail, those people should be angered and outraged at this dismissal of these charges and then sealing it. And like I’ve been seeing in all the media accounts I’ve been doing, why don’t we give him just a big kiss and apologize for the inconvenience.
Stephanie Hamill: Yeah. And we heard the Mayor of Chicago even weigh in on this saying that, that he compared it to the college admissions scandal. So, is there a two-tier justice system in America?
Robert Bianchi: Oh, you know, I’ve always said that. Is there, yeah, there is. I mean if you can afford a really good lawyer, a really good lawyer is going to get you a result in a not really so good lawyer. But what bothers me about this is it didn’t come down to that this had nothing to do with defense lawyering. This came down to a pure political calculus. And this is why Stephanie parenthetically, I’ll note, I’m a fan of the appointment process of Prosecutors and judges as opposed to the elected process. I was appointed by the Governor, with the full consent of both Democrats and Republicans of the Senate. So, for my term of office, I do not have to worry about looking over my shoulder. I didn’t have to worry about my constituents being angry with me based on the decisions I made. I can make them more purely based upon law and facts and let that be my guiding principle.
Robert Bianchi: Do we remember the Duke Lacrosse case and Mike Nifong, and so many other elected Prosecutors and judges that are not doing the right thing because they are worried about the court of public opinion as opposed to the court of law. So yeah, I do believe that in this particular case, he had powerful friends. He had powerful people calling in on his behalf, and that District Attorney says, oh, I’m going to recuse myself. But she didn’t really recuse yourself. And don’t tell me there wasn’t a wink and a nod here because here’s the thing, Stephanie, we all as Prosecutors that do this for a living. I’m a Certified Criminal trial lawyer, do Prosecution half my career. I do defense. I still practice law right now. We know the value of a case. We know the cases that Prosecutors are hot on and what the typical plea offers are and the way they go about it. And that did not happen here. So, there’s no doubt in my mind, and I’ve said this on many new stations and I’ll see it on yours. I challenge the District Attorney anytime, anyplace, to beat me that this was a just sentence and I challenge the Defense Bar in Cook County Chicago to start lining up in front of that District Attorney and say, what about my guy? Can he or she get a kiss too, how about our guys who have done nothing really anywhere near as draconian and dastardly. We haven’t lied. We haven’t wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars. We haven’t ratcheted up race relations based on a false and bogus story. Can we get a break too? I suspect they won’t and I would ask you and the others in the media, watch this District Attorney’s office very carefully, go into those courtrooms and see how many people are being required to plead guilty with a felony conviction that will affect them for the rest of their lives and those that are going to jail on far less than what this man did.
Stephanie Hamill: Well, what’s curious is that they seal the case so there isn’t any sort of transparency and that’s why there are so many questions today as to what was going on behind the scenes. Why would they seal this case?
Robert Bianchi: Can you imagine that Stephanie, look, the fact they seal the case tells you everything you need to know. Cover up, hear no evil, see no evil. Speak no evil. Nobody will know. Don’t look behind the curtain. We’re going to seal the case. But what they did had the boomerang effect. They sealed it and everyone knows why they did, because it was a corrupt practice that went on. But they’re not going to be able to get away with that because if you ask me, if I were in Chicago right now, meeting with the Mayor and meeting with the Police Chief, I’d say let’s file our complaint in federal court or State Court right now, suing Mr. Smollett or anyone else that we think may be associated with this, for all the money, the taxpayers of Cook County and the State of Illinois had a pay for this bogus investigation. And then through the discovery process we’ll find out that, which attempted to be hidden in the sealed criminal proceeding. Shame on them for doing that.
Stephanie Hamill: Yeah. Obviously, there are a lot of questions and we weren’t there that night in Chicago at 2:00 AM after Smollett had picked up his tuna sandwich from Subway. So, I mean, he’s not guilty of, they were alleging that he committed this hate hoax against himself. We had the Sandarrio brothers step in and they’re the ones who gave this information to the police officer, their text messages. We saw the surveillance video of the brothers buying the materials that they used allegedly, in the hate hoax. So, is there any chance that Smollett is innocent? I mean, there was no trial. We don’t know.
Robert Bianchi: What can I say about that? I can only tell you that those have reviewed the evidence. You could knock me off the chair with a feather yesterday when the Prosecutor, after the Mayor’s conference, scathing conference, and the police chiefs scaling conference comes out and says, essentially, we’re not saying he’s innocent. That’s not what the Prosecutor said in this case. The Prosecutor said that they believed that this was a just and fair resolution for what it was that he did. That’s even worse. Stephanie, listen, if I’ve had a case that it had been presented to a grand jury and later evidence is developed that turns out to change the opinion, breeding material comes out that has information that’s exculpatory or assists the defense. That changes the dynamic in trajectory of the case. You didn’t hear the Prosecutors say any of that. So why would you go forward with this indictment? Somebody made a decision to do it. Somebody made a decision to not, you know, say oh, we’ll let it go away. We’ll give him a slap on the wrist. They went to a grand jury at one point because they were serious about it. They got an indictment because they were serious about it. The doesn’t say anything changed factually or legally to change that conclusion, and then it all just poof, goes away. I can tell you as a Prosecutor there’s something wrong with that calculus.
Stephanie Hamill: Well and now we’re hearing that Smollett’s lawyer says that they haven’t ruled out suing the city of Chicago.
Robert Bianchi: Please, go for it brother, because I’m going to file a cross complaint and counterclaim against you, and let’s go mano a mano on the case where I have your client answering interrogatories and in the confines of my office in a deposition where we can find out the full truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It would be the stupidest thing in the world, when this guy has a sealed record and got the kiss kiss from the Prosecutor in the court to allow this to go forward, to then go sue the police department because you know what, in the end you may be found responsible. He’s never going to sue them. Never, never, never mark my words and if he does, he needs to have a mental health checkup.
Stephanie Hamill: Well, so, and it has attorneys still calling him a victim, says he still needs to begin healing from the alleged attack so he can get his life back on course. So, if he’s a victim, there are, where are the attackers?
Robert Bianchi: You know, I was saying that too. If he truly is a victim and he’s, look, I don’t know the file, I don’t know the case, I’m not passing on that. I’m passing on the process of what occurred here, which stinks to high heaven. But if he truly is, then those two bugs of his goes to friends that he wrote the check to. Well they should be arrested and they should be charged with committing a hate crime. No? Please.
Stephanie Hamill: Yeah. Are they protected? Is there, were they given some sort of immunity?
Robert Bianchi: I don’t, I don’t know the answer to that. I haven’t heard anything about immunity in any of this. I heard that they came forward and they voluntarily gave their statements to the police. So, I don’t know, but they are clearly the people that did it, they admitted to that. So, if it is true that Mr. Smollett’s not guilty or he’s, quote unquote, innocent of these charges, then they should be charged. But that’s not going to happen here because the Prosecutors very clear. He does not believe Mr. Smollett Is innocent. He just felt it was a just resolution. In other words, he really didn’t do anything that bad.
Stephanie Hamill: And there’s cause for this would be kind of just pushed under the rug because Chicago has bigger fish to fry. What message does that send to America?
Robert Bianchi: Well, listen to the message it sends to me, that it sends me as a former Prosecutor, is that justice can be purchased, or justice can be manipulated, or justice can be distorted. I worked an entire career as a Prosecutor to make sure that not only were my decisions correct, and I’m not just the only one, most of us, not only are they correct, but that in a court of public opinion, that they understand that it was done honestly and fairly. And while they may not like what the ultimate outcome was, that they believe that we believe that was the right thing to do. Not that we always get it right. We’re human beings, we’re fallible. But when you see something like this, it smirches the entire criminal justice system, and I feel bad for that young man and that young girl, especially in the minority communities that have to see something like this afterward, and the manner in which they’re treated in the criminal justice system, because it’s clear to all that watch this, there are two systems of justice, at least in Cook County, and that is not right.