Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel was highly critical of how the Jussie Smollett case was handled by local prosecutors, going so far as to describe the turn of events as a “whitewash of justice” — only a Democrat could say such a thing in a case involving a black actor.
But when President Donald Trump weighed in to suggest the Justice Department and the FBI would be looking into the “whitewash of justice,” Hizzoner was suddenly reading from a different script.
“My recommendation is the president go to Opening Day baseball, sit on the sidelines and stay out of this,” Emanuel told reporters on Thursday, according to Fox News.
In response to charges inexplicably being dropped against Smollett, who appears to have staged a hate crime against himself, and a number of questionable decisions by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Trump tweeted early Thursday: “FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!”
In addition to Foxx saying she recused herself from the case only to have her office say later that she didn’t formally do so, explaining they used the word “colloquially,” for public consumption, she also moved to unseal the court records after an outcry, claiming it was “inadvertent” that the court sealed them.
And then there was the communication with former first lady Michelle Obama’s then-chief of staff, Tina Tchen, who intervened on behalf of the Smollett family in a series of messages with Foxx.
And the mayor pull no punches with Smollett, saying he should pay $130,000 to the Chicago Police Department to cover the cost of their investigation.
“My recommendation is when he writes the check, in the memo section he can put the word ‘I’m accountable’ for the hoax,” Emanuel said.
Chicago police were said to be furious over the turn of events, saying Foxx didn’t even inform them of the decision beforehand.
But the former Obama aide, who called Chicago a “Trump-free zone,” wasn’t feeling simpatico with the president, blaming him for creating the “toxic environment” that would prompt someone to stage a hate crime.
“Let me be clear about something. The only reason Jussie Smollett thought he could take advantage of a hoax about a hate crime is because of the environment, the toxic environment that Donald Trump created,” Emanuel said.
“This is a president who drew a moral equivalency between people who are trying to perpetuate bigotry and those who are trying to fight bigotry.
This being a common reference from Trump haters, manipulating a remark he said about there being good people on both sides of the debate over Confederate statues.
All of which shows how ambidextrous Democrats can be, having the wherewithal to call out a true injustice while deceptively playing politics when an adversary does the same thing.
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