The seemingly open-and-shut criminal cases against convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, though over a decade apart, have led some legal experts to compare the two.
Epstein, who pleaded guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution from minors, spent only 13 months in jail as a part of a now-controversial sweetheart plea agreement back in 2008. As a part of the agreement, law enforcement opted not to continue the investigation into other victims or alleged perpetrators associated with Epstein.
The plea agreement he received garnered scrutiny following a Miami Herald investigation. One of the prosecutors who brokered the agreement is current Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.
A judge ruled the that the plea agreement Epstein received violated state laws because the prosecutors did not notify the victims prior to the agreement. (RELATED: Epstein Legal Team Defends Alexander Acosta’s 2007 Pedophile Plea Deal)
Some are comparing the sweetheart plea agreement Epstein received to the charges being dropped against Smollett.
Smollett alleged in January that two white men attacked him in the middle of the night as he was walking home from a Chicago-area “Subway” restaurant. He told police that the men poured a bleach-like substance on him, tied a noose-like rope around his neck and shouted racist and homophobic slurs.
The Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx communicated with Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff Tina Tchen and members of the Smollett family, which led to her stepping back from the case. She claimed to have recused herself, but her office released a statement Thursday saying she only “colloquially” recused herself.
Fox News obtained an internal email from Foxx asking assistant state’s attorneys to dig for examples of similar situations in which the charges were dropped.
CNN legal analyst Laura Coates pointed out the lucky breaks both of them had in a tweet that reads, “While the topic of
#JussieSmollett felony indictments converted to wrist slaps is on everyone’s, including @realDonaldTrump mind, can we also chat about the prosecutorial decisions about #JeffreyEpstein?” with a link to a Vox.com article about Epstein.
“Smollett may have benefited from celebrity justice,” Georgetown University law professor Jonathan Turley also tweeted. “Like the Epstein case, it is not clear if the problem was an absence of blind justice or of equal justice. What is clear, however, is that this represents a travesty of justice.”
Bet it turns out Jesse had the same lawyer as Jeffrey Epstein.https://t.co/RcZ61TUb1f
— Gerry Conway (@gerryconway) March 27, 2019
Conservative pundit and The Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro tweeted in February, “If Epstein weren’t politically connected is there any doubt he’d be in prison for the rest of his life?”
He weighed in Tuesday on the charges being dropped against Smollett, saying, “Letting Smollett off the hook is a pure political calculation by Cook County. It is indeed that simple. The facts are in public view.”
This smacks of exactly how prosecutors were able to cover up the #jeffreyepstein plea deal. #perversionofjustice. Paperwork is sealed — news media must go to court and demand records. https://t.co/5H2fCsSLD9
— julie k. brown (@jkbjournalist) March 27, 2019