Jussie Smollett, the “Empire” actor who claims he was assaulted by white supremacists screaming “MAGA COUNTRY” in the middle of a polar vortex in Chicago, just hired the best defense lawyer in town, Michael Monico, after the two persons of interest in the case were released by the Chicago Police Department.
High-profile #Chicago defense attorney Michael Monico let it be known he was representing #JussieSmollett on @RoeConn radio show today. Monico also represents #MichaelCohen. He's considered one of the best defense lawyers in the country.
— Rafer Weigel (@RaferWeigel) February 16, 2019
The two persons of interest that Smollett claimed were his attackers in an interview on ABC with Robin Roberts turned out to be Nigerian actors who have connections to the “Empire” show.
NEW: Two brothers of Nigerian descent were arrested Friday in connection with the alleged attack of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
Smollett says he did not know his attackers but the suspects' lawyer says they all worked on the show together.
Dean Reynolds has more pic.twitter.com/PIV4gj1Tuy
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 15, 2019
After Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo and Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo were arrested on Wednesday, their lives were turned upside down — their apartment was raided and they spent almost 48 hours in the company of Chicago police officers before they were released with no charges.
Also on the inventory list taken from the brothers home was “Script-Empire.”
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) February 15, 2019
Case Update: Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 16, 2019
Shortly before this announcement was made, Michael Monico appeared on Roe Conn’s radio program on WGN to announce that Smollett had hired the high-powered defense attorney to represent him. Monico is the same attorney who is representing President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
In the days leading up to this development, almost every local news outlet in Chicago reported that inside sources claimed the police were investigating the incident as a hoax and had found evidence that Smollett may have set it up. Police quickly denied it, but none of the outlets have retracted their stories or deleted their tweets.
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) February 15, 2019
This recent development further confirms that something is seriously wrong with Smollett’s account of the alleged attack.
TMZ finally admitted that they printed fake news when they reported that the men who “attacked” Smollett were white.
Jussie Smollett's Story Has Race Discrepancy https://t.co/74Wq0HZqWy
— TMZ (@TMZ) February 15, 2019
More developments are expected as police have made it clear that they’re not done: “Detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the Chicago Police Department, tweeted.
PJM will update as the story continues to unfold.
An update to this story included a tweet from a Fox News reporter who claimed that bleach was found in Smollett’s apartment. Since PJM has not been able to confirm this part of the story, the tweet has been removed.