'He's Going Into the Federal Nightmare Zone': Retired NYPD Cop Breaks Down Smollett Case
On "The Daily Briefing" Thursday, criminal defense attorney Eric Guster and retired NYPD detective Pat Brosnan broke down where Jussie Smollett went wrong with his alleged hate crime hoax.
Chicago authorities on Thursday laid out their case against Smollett, accusing the "Empire" actor of orchestrating two "bogus" hate crimes -- one involving an alleged attack, and one involving a threatening letter -- all in order to get a pay raise.
Following three weeks of mounting suspicions, Smollett, who is accused of filing a false police report about the Jan. 29 incident, was charged Wednesday with felony disorderly conduct.
Guster said Smollett left a "ridiculous" trail of evidence for authorities to follow, noting that he wrote a check to two men allegedly to fabricate the attack. Police said one of the men had worked on "Empire," and Smollett's attorneys said one of the men is the actor's personal trainer.
Brosnan said he didn't want to undermine the great work of the Chicago Police Department, but he agreed that Smollett made this an "easy ground ball" for investigators.
"Who writes a check to their co-conspirator? Who uses the phone that's registered in their name to call the co-conspirator over 50 times? And who in God's name hires their personal trainer and co-worker as their co-conspirator? Those are three fundamental rules if you're staging a crime," Brosnan said, calling Smollett's cell phone a "smoking gun."
Guster said Smollett should have known that his story would unravel, given the extensive law enforcement and media attention on the case.
"He left a trail of breadcrumbs like he was walking in the forest for them to find," Guster said. "And they were eventually going to find it."
Brosnan predicted that Smollett is is "deep, deep trouble," noting that he could face a felony for every time he lied to Chicago detectives, the state attorney, the FBI and in the public record, and also for the fake anthrax letter he allegedly sent to himself.
"He's going into the federal nightmare zone. He will be glued to the Department of Justice for the rest of his life."
Watch the "Daily Briefing" segment above.