Right Opinion

Seething Over Smollett

Gary Bauer · Mar. 28, 2019

There is seething outrage in Chicago and across the nation over the travesty of justice that occurred Tuesday in the Jussie Smollett case. Did the police make a mistake that jeopardized the case? No they did not.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson stood by his investigators, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke out strongly against the inexplicable decision to drop all 16 felony charges and to seal the evidence in the case.

Others are speaking out too. Even former Obama adviser David Axelrod blasted Smollett and State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. In a series of tweets, Axelrod wrote:

Here’s the lesson of this weird turn in the Smollett case: You can contrive a hate crime, make it national news, get caught and — if you are a well-connected celebrity — get off for $10K and have your record expunged and files sealed.

Hate crimes are loathsome. Faking them is insidious and shouldn’t be excused.

The Chicago Sun Times chimed in too, writing:

It’s an indefensible decision, a deal hashed out in secret, with — this is outrageous — Smollett not even required to take ownership of his apparent hoax. Not even required to apologize for allegedly exploiting hate crime laws. And not even required to reimburse Chicago taxpayers for the enormous cost of this investigation.

Chicagoans, Americans for that matter, will doubtless feel bamboozled by Foxx’s office, and used by Smollett.

As the Times noted, Smollett continues to claim he is innocent and was cleared of all charges. After leaving the courthouse Tuesday, he told reporters:

I have been truthful and consistent on every level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’m accused of.

Prosecutors tell another story. 

First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats, who took over the case after Kim Foxx recused herself, rushed to quell the uproar Tuesday. During an interview with a local CBS affiliate, Magats said, “I do not believe he is innocent.”

Magats went on to explain that he opted for “alternative prosecution” largely because Smollett had no prior criminal record, and because of his community service with — (are you ready?) — Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Magats also revealed that his office has dropped charges in “5,700 other felony cases." 

I suppose the "murder capital of the country” probably does have more important things to investigate. But this was not a minor felony. It stoked the fire of racial animosity, smeared conservative Americans and raised the anxiety of blacks in Chicago.

Smollett is not completely off the hook yet. The FBI is still investigating Smollett for mail fraud, and Mayor Emanuel is considering suing Smollett to recoup $150,000 the city spent investigating his hoax hate crime.

Transparency vs. The Truth

In the wake of Robert Mueller’s report clearing President Trump of colluding with the Russians, many progressives are refusing to accept Attorney General William Barr’s summary. For example, Stacey Abrams, who may run for president or the Senate in 2020, essentially accused the attorney general of lying, saying:

It is inappropriate for us to assume we know what the Mueller report says until we can read the Mueller report… I do not think we can assume that what [Barr] reported in his summary is an accurate summary of the report.

Now many Democrats are demanding that Barr turn over all Mueller documents by April 2nd. Various media reports suggest that Mueller’s findings run 7,000 pages, and not all of it can be released. 

Barr said he will do what he can to summarize the findings in “weeks, not months,” consistent with appropriate laws and regulations. Reports suggest that the Department of Justice may “narrow it down” to 700 pages. 

I understand the default position to demand total transparency. Some leading Republicans are making the same call, but for very different reasons. The deep state has been hiding critical information regarding how the Russia/Mueller investigations got started in the first place. 

But the average American is not going to read 7,000 pages. Few would slog through even 700 pages. 

Why is the left demanding that everything be released? So the same people who have lied about the president for the past two years can continue to lie about him for the next two years. They will pick out some obscure fact on page 1,206 to claim evidence of collusion without saying that it was debunked on page 3,318.

The demand for full transparency guarantees that the truth will be obfuscated in an avalanche of paper. It’s like drinking from a fire hose. 

Meanwhile, serious questions are being raised about whether the Clinton campaign colluded with Ukraine to release Paul Manafort’s tax information, and Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said he will be making criminal referrals “hopefully by the end of next week." 

I urge Rep. Nunes to follow through on his pledge. The abuse of our nation’s intelligence apparatus to spy on political campaigns and interfere in our elections is a serious threat to our republic and the integrity of our elections. Those responsible for this farce must be held accountable.

I promise you, my friends, with your support and encouragement, we will continue to demand answers from congressional Republicans and accountability from the deep state.

No Deal On Green New Deal

The media and left are constantly telling us that there is a climate emergency. It’s so severe, in fact, that you shouldn’t bother having children because they will die in 12 years. All the leading Democrat presidential candidates have endorsed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, which is really just socialism on steroids. 

Usually progressives are eager to talk about climate change and tell you how we must give up everything and fundamentally transform our economy. 

Well, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell gave Democrats a chance to do just that Tuesday and a funny thing happened: No one wanted to debate the Green New Deal. The vote was 0-to-57, with 43 not-so-courageous Democrats voting present. 

The last politician with a reputation for voting "present” was Barack Obama. Can you imagine any public policy matter of any consequence where Donald Trump’s response would be “present”?

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