After appearing in court Thursday afternoon and being released on a $100,000 bond Jussie Smollett headed over to the set of “Empire” where he was schedule to shoot a scene.
According to TMZ Smollett apologized to the cast and crew – but not for faking a hate crime, which is what Chicago Police earlier in the day insisted he did.
“I’m sorry I’ve put you all through this and not answered any calls,” Smollett said, TMZ reports. “I wanted to say I’m sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family.”
“I swear to God, I did not do this,” Smollett, who was described as “emotional,” reportedly told the crew.
Smollett then left, and returned later to shoot his scene.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Thursday morning told reporters Smollett staged a hoax hate crime assault “to further his own public profile,” and because he was “dissatisfied” with his salary.
Johnson had strong words against Smollett, saying he “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
Smollett surrendered to police early Thursday morning, was arrested and charged with “disorderly conduct,” for allegedly filing a false police report.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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‘This Is a National Security Issue’: Former FBI Agents Note Key Details About ‘Raid’ on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
Two former FBI agents are weighing in on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s execution of a search warrant Monday at the Florida residence of Donald Trump, the former President, which he called a “raid.”
“This is a nat sec/CI issue,” tweeted Asha Rangappa Tuesday morning, meaning national security and counterintelligence. Rangappa is an attorney, former FBI special agent, senior lecturer at Yale, and CNN commentator.
She was pointing to a tweet by another former FBI special agent, James Harris.
Harris has an extensive bio, highlights of which include his role at FBI HQ Cyber Division as a Program Manager and then Unit Chief (Acting), FBI Senior Liaison Officer to DHS Cybersecurity and Communications, and FBI Assistant Section Chief of the Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section. Earlier in his FBI career he says he “built up the largest Federal Cybercrime Task Force in the US.”
Harris points to this section of a CNN article published Tuesday morning, written by seven CNN reporters:
“In early June, a handful of investigators made a rare visit to the property seeking more information about potentially classified material from Trump’s time in the White House that had been taken to Florida. The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department, sat down with two of Trump’s attorneys, Bobb and Evan Corcoran, according to a source present for the meeting.”
Harris on Twitter highlights this sentence: “The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department…”
He tweets: “All you ‘outraged’ GOPers better cool your jets. You might be walking your rhetoric back really fast when you figure out what this seems to be. The devil is in the details.”
In January the National Archives was forced to transport from Mar-a-Lago 15 cartons of documents and other items that, according to the Presidential Records Act and the National Archives, should have been turned over to the Archives.
The FBI’s execution of the search warrant and reports that they left with a large quantity of documents suggests Trump might not have turned over everything taken from the White House.
Rangappa earlier Tuesday tweeted: “Ask yourself: What kind of info makes its way to the WH, and specifically to the president? —> HIGH LEVEL SECRETS. PDB stuff. Defense info. These aren’t low-level diplomatic cables or overclassified State Dept. correspondence. Just saying.”
‘I’d Be Advising My Client to Tell Their Family I’m Looking at Jail Time’: Mueller Prosecutor on the FBI’s Trump Raid
Former Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, explained on MSNBC that if he was advising a client facing what former President Donald Trump is, there would be a strong warning.
“If I were Donald Trump’s lawyer right now, thank God I’m not, I would be advising my client to be telling [their] family, ‘I am looking at jail time, and we should make plans accordingly.'”
After House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) threatened Attorney General Merrick Garland, Weissmann said that he should just keep his head down and keep doing his job.
“That is such a palpably false statement, the comment from Mr. McCarthy that he has seen enough,” said Weissmann. “One of the things that none of us has seen is the warrant, an application to the court. It’s very important to remember this was not a break-in, this was not a raid, this was not the attorney general of the United States deciding willy-nilly on his own that he was going to do the search. A court had to approve the search here based on, as you point out Lawrence, evidence. The evidence had to show that there was probable cause of a crime. That is the way our judicial system works, and that is what happened here.”
While McCarthy may want to hold a public hearing of Garland and demand documents, what the Republicans might ultimately end up doing is drawing additional attention to what Trump stole or attempted to destroy.
“I think the thing that I found the most remarkable and I think it’s really worth people really taking a step back, is this does mean the attorney general of the United States did not trust the former president to simply produce the documents voluntarily pursuant to a subpoena,” said Weissmann. “And it was necessary to go via search warrant. Normally, you think that if you order a subpoena to any reputable person they will produce documents. When you issue and obtain a search warrant, it is because you do not trust that the person will actually produce the documents. That means if they had to have evidence of that that led Merrick Garland to take this step. It was bold but certainly approved by the courts.”
He went on to joke that the irony is that, all of a sudden, Kevin McCarthy cares about document preservation.
“The Trump administration pioneered all these different ways of doing it from flushing it down the toilet, to burning it in the White House fireplace,” recalled Weissmann. “Points for creativity, but, all in all, I don’t think I expect a statement from the Justice Department about [McCarthy’s threats].”
See the comments below:
Biden Travels to Kentucky to Console Flood Survivors After 37 Died – Some Angered McConnell and Paul ‘MIA’
On the first full day he has been free from COVID President Joe Biden traveled to Kentucky, the home state of the Senate Republican Minority Leader, to visit with flood survivors devastated by lost lives and lost property.
On August 1, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced the historic floods had killed 37 people. Hundreds more were unaccounted for.
“I still have aunts and uncles that are stuck in hollers. They are diabetics. They need insulin,” Knott County resident Zack Hall said to CNN the following day, August 2. “I went to visit one yesterday — was lucky enough to get up there (and deliver supplies) with an ATV. But there was no road … and that’s what people need to understand, is the infrastructure here is just completely destroyed and it makes relief efforts [difficult].”
On Monday, six days later, President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden flew down to Kentucky, where they were met by Gov. Beshear. The President, the governor, and the First Lady toured the devastation as President Biden spoke privately and on camera with survivors.
Conspicuously absent? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, and Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky. Neither according to reports have toured the devastation.
Not absent was public support for the President and public outrage for the two Kentucky Republicans.
“I’m a Kentuckian born and raised,” wrote former pro-basketball player Rex Chapman, now a social media influencer who has played on four NBA teams. “It is absolutely mind boggling to me that Joe Biden has been to visit families of eastern Kentucky who’ve been absolutely devastated by floods — and Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul haven’t.”
Chapman’s remarks were in response to this video of President Biden in Kentucky on Monday.
Biden, speaking to victims of flooding in Kentucky, is very good at speeches like this pic.twitter.com/0KO9ZgMi2M
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 8, 2022
In. it, Biden says the survivors he talked to are “not just Kentuckians, they’re Americans.”
“This happened in America,” Biden said forcefully. “And everybody has an obligation to help.”
“I promise you,” He told the survivors, “we’re staying, the federal government along with the state and county, we’re staying until everybody’s back to work.”
And he promised they would not just be made whole, but “better than they were before.”
Biden: “I don’t want any Kentuckian telling me ‘you don’t have to do this for me.’ Oh yeah we do. You’re an American citizen. We never give up … alright, now, we’re all gonna run laps.” pic.twitter.com/mQ1VgbEtUi
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 8, 2022
Chapman added, “Biden has had COVID – and the second he could go to Kentucky he went. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell live there and they couldn’t be bothered.”
Award-winning political and communications strategist Greg Pinelo weighed in, writing: “Noting for the record, Joe Biden went to the disaster zone in Kentucky before either Mitch McConnell or Rand Paul. They’ll say they were busy voting against climate change action and making insulin affordable, but it’s been 8 days.”
Coincidentally, Biden and the Democrats on Sunday capped the price of insulin for Medicare patients at $35 and passed the largest bill to address climate change in history. Republicans killed an legislation that would have capped the price at $35 for all Americans. Earlier in his term President Biden signed into law a huge infrastructure bill that would help prevent flooding and create roads and bridges that would withstand heavy flooding.
This isn’t the first time McConnell and Paul were MIA as President Biden toured natural disaster devastation. In mid December last year Biden traveled to Dawson Springs, Kentucky, to visit with survivors of massive tornado damage.
One day later award-winning writer Chip Franklin tweeted, “Who else thinks its reprehensible Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul refused to accompany President Biden in Kentucky?”
Noting Biden isn’t doing this to score political points, attorney Adam B. Bear wrote Monday: “The last time Kentucky voted for a Democrat in a Presidential race was for Bill Clinton in 1996. Not to forget about Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul… Regardless, President Biden is in KY consoling people whose lives have been upended by a terrible storm.”
Others on social media also blasted McConnell and Paul.
Journalist Aaron Rupar noted, “Biden lost Kentucky by 26 points. He works for Kentuckians all the same, as any solid president should.”
“Rand paul? Mia,” tweeted one user, noting Sen. Paul is missing in action. Her bio says she’s a “life long republican. US Navy vet,” and “unabashed anti trump.”
“Mitch McConnell? Mia. The dude with the paper towels?” she added, referring to President Donald Trump’s disastrous visit to hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico, “Mia.”
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