On Wednesday, Tina Glandian, one of the lawyers for Empire star Jussie Smollett, claimed that Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo and his brother Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo lied to police about the Smollett attack.
“If the brothers are saying he helped them stage this attack, you’re saying the brothers are lying,” George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s Good Morning America, asked Glandian.
“Absolutely,” the lawyer said.
“They’re not telling the truth?” Stephanopoulos clarified.
“No,” Glandian again insisted.
Smollett claims that on January 29, masked white attackers wearing MAGA hats had screamed, “This is MAGA country!” before seizing him, putting a noose around his neck, and pouring an unknown bleach-scented liquid on him.
Last month, police announced that they had turned against Smollett upon discovering evidence that suggested the Empire actor had paid the Osundairo brothers to attack him. Unearthed evidence included receipts showing the brothers buying the rope used in the attack and a check Smollett gave them.
After police turned on Smollett, prosecutors charged him with 16 felony counts. Mysteriously on Tuesday, the prosecutors dropped all 16 counts. Smollett and his attorneys insisted he had been telling the truth from the beginning, but the police and even Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not buy it. The police union repeated its call for the Department of Justice to investigate State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, whose office dropped the charges.
On Wednesday, Glandian insisted that Smollett did not know the identity of his attackers. “The attackers were masked. He only saw one of them. One of them approached him from behind. And he was wearing a mask and so he did not identify them,” she said.
“As you know they have phone records of him talking to the brothers an hour before the attack, an hour after, and while they’re in Africa,” Stephanopoulos pressed.
“Not an hour after the attack,” the lawyer pushed back. “That’s completely false and I have seen the phone records and they’ve been produced.”
Glandian admitted that Smollett did speak with the brothers and she did not deny the existence of the check. “He absolutely talked to them because he had just hired the one brother to train him for his upcoming music video — for training and nutrition, which the brothers have now confirmed that’s actually what the check was for,” she said.
Glandian insisted that there were “ample texts about training and nutrition and they were supposed to actually train that night.” Smollett’s flight from New York was delayed for four hours, “so he was constantly texting and communicating about their planned training session.”
The lawyer’s claims do not seem to add up. If the Osundairo brothers decided to attack Smollett yelling, “This is MAGA country!” and using the noose, why do so if it was not coordinated with Smollett? What possible motive did the brothers have?
Finally, the police let the brothers go after arresting them. The Chicago Police Department was satisfied that the Osundairo brothers did not break the law. The evidence they uncovered pointed to a hoax perpetrated by Smollett.
Tragically, when the prosecutors dropped the charges, they also sealed Smollett’s record, preventing any evidence from seeing the light of day. If Smollett and his lawyers are lying through their teeth, police are not allowed to release the evidence to prove it.
If indeed the Osundairo brothers were lying to police, that itself is a crime. If Glandian were concerned about justice, she would call for their arrest. Yet it seems she is more focused on moving on from this hate hoax, so that it can be forgotten.
The Department of Justice should investigate Kim Foxx for many reasons. While she personally recused herself from the Smollett case, Foxx still manages the prosecutor who dropped the charges. During her campaign in 20167, Foxx received hefty checks from a Super PAC funded by George Soros and lawyers who specialize in overturning criminal convictions. She herself freed violent criminals, some of whom had confessed to murder, and launched a prosecution of police officers for allegedly conspiring against a black teen. That prosecution found the cops innocent.
Glandian may wish to brush the Smollett hate hoax under the rug, but Chicago police and the American people will not quickly forget. At the very least, Trump’s DOJ should launch an investigation.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.