Avenatti versus Smollett - Two Cases of Justice

Michael Avenatti is accused - among other things like evading taxes and financial fraud in obtaining a multi-million-dollar loan - of trying to extort a cool $20 million from Nike. It seems to be based on the threat of exposing some sort of inverted, pay-to-play scheme where high school basketball stars would get paid by the multinational, presumably under the table as it would make them pro’s and therefore disqualify them.

So Avenatti made threats and Nike fought back and the Stormy-lawyer-guy is facing charges that could lock him up for years.

But that doesn't shock or surprise and doesn't really matter.

What matters far more today is the Jussie Smollett reality show being played out in Chicago's courts. What happened on Tuesday is actually rather surprising, even slightly shocking, and at the very least perplexing and troubling.

Kim Foxx is State Attorney for Cook County, Illinois. It's just a county, but not just any county. It's almost trite to say that the Chicago area has been the political home to more than a few powerful politicians, and not just the last President of America. Kim Foxx knows perfectly well she's on a stage that can catapult her to political stardom,

Or shame.

So. Her office - not Foxx herself who has supposedly recused herself from this case - has dropped all charges against Jussie Smollett but, according to Foxx's top deputy, Joe Magats, "we didn't exonerate him." They apparently dropped all charges because Smollett's sentence would have likely involved community service. This, however, is TMZ's angle. But you know, they could even be right. Hollywood is one of America's power centers so why not have TMZ break the real reasons on this? They've been trailing Smollett like vultures, because TMZ gotta be vultures, but of course.

In other words, State Attorney Foxx interfered in the case to protect Jussie Smollett's reputation, because Jussie asked her to. Apparently, she had to recuse herself from the case because of connections seemingly between people in her office (she has a huge staff at her disposal) and Smollett himself, some of them even family relations it seems.

"Texts and emails between State Attorney Kim Foxx and two Jussie allies -- one of which is reported to be a family member of his -- have been leaked, and they show that Foxx was asked to intervene in the case a few days after he'd reported the alleged attack to Chicago PD. It appears that she did exactly that ... and kept Jussie's camp in the loop." - TMZ

The interesting thing is both Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a press conference soon after the State Prosecutor's Office's announcement, and their words were a flame thrower launched against Kim Foxx and Jussie Smollett.

"I think this city is still owed an apology. When I came on this job - I've been a cop now for about 31 years. When I came on this job, I came on with my honor and my integrity and my reputation. If someone accused me of doing anything that would circumvent that, then I would want my day in court, period, to clear my name." - Superintendent Johnson

What he's referring to is the fact that the facts of the case and the court records are now apparently sealed.

"As a person who was in the House of Representatives when we tried to pass the Shepard legislation...to then use those very laws and the principles and values behind the Matthew Shepard hate crimes legislation to self-promote your career is a cost that comes to all of the individuals, gay men and women who will one day come forward and say they were the victim of a hate crime and will be doubted," Mayor Emanuel stated.

In other words, beyond the political cost to Kim Foxx (assuming there is one, of course, this is Chicago we're talking about) Emanuel understands the deeper problem is the institutional cost, the fraying of citizens faith (or what's left of it) in the justice system.

This is worthy of a corrupt, tin-pot dictatorship. Which Chicago, at certain points and in certain things political, has unfortunately skated a little too close to more than a few times in the past. Let's hope they slam on the brakes of justice and somehow get this right.

But with the decision of Kim Foxx's office, that's going to be very hard to do. The damage seems to be done.

Unlike in the Avenatti case, where the justice system seems to be working.

Posted by Keeley at March 28, 2019 6:53 PM
Comments
Comment #440745

I found it unsettling when the cop gave his press conference and basically had the guy convicted. He got emotional. I’ve not witnessed someone go in front of the camera and condemn a suspect like that.

I think there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 28, 2019 8:47 PM
Comment #440748

“the last President of America”

What an odd phrase you’re using there, but I like it!

Avenatti is being charged by Geoffrey Berman in SDNY. Does the name ring a cowbell? If not, then you don’t follow the actual news closely enough to understand anything about this story. The Smollett case has been in the news here continuously for weeks, as well as the R Kelly story. Avenatti came to Chicago recently about the R Kelly case, turning over 2 tapes of Kelly doing bad things to Kim Foxx’s office.

wiki

Berman was subsequently engaged by Mudge Rose(Nixon’s law firm) Berman was a partner of Rudy Giuliani at Greenberg Traurig. Giuliani supported Berman for U.S. Attorney in New Jersey, but supported a different candidate for U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Berman’s relationship with Giuliani raises questions about his political motivation in indicting Michael Avenatti.

Background, Chicago Reader

“While in college and later in law school, Michael (Avenatti) worked at a political opposition research and media firm run by Rahm Emanuel (who later became White House Chief of Staff and is presently the Mayor of Chicago)…This goes back to the early 90s when Rahm ran a firm called the Research Group and was making a name for himself as a ferociously persistent political fund-raiser who did things like send a dead fish to an adversary along with a hand-written note that said: “It’s been awful working with you. Love, Rahm.”

Rahm Emmanuel did not run for re-election for a 3rd term and will be replaced by either Lori Lightfoot, or Toni Preckwinkle.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 28, 2019 9:49 PM
Comment #440777

It’s easy to understand why the police and others suspect something nefarious is behind the 16 charges against Jussie Smollett (for his hate hoax) being dropped.

George Soros gave Kim Foxx $408,000 for her last campaign.

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