If you thought that Smollett case could not get more bizarre, think again.
CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller is reporting that defense attorney Tamara Walker had a sidebar conversation with attorneys from both sides and Cook County Judge James Linn.
She reportedly accused Judge Linn of some improper comment and then said that he lunged at her in the courtroom. She was crying during the sidebar.
Another Smollett attorney accused Linn of snarling and making faces during the trial. In thirty years of practice as a criminal defense attorney, I have never heard of such allegations in a criminal trial.
The demand for a mistrial was rejected.
In a case where the defendant is accused of manufacturing a bizarre alleged attack, the allegation of a judge lunging at his counsel seems weirdly consistent. There is no indication if there is proof of such threatening act or the alleged faces being made from the bench.
The case itself is a train wreck of a defense. Counsel seems to be throwing out unsubstantiated claims or suggestions in cross examination, including affairs with Smollett. The evidence is overwhelming against Smollett who is alleged to have hired two Nigerian brothers to stage the attack. This allegedly included a “dry run” with the men.
From the outset, the attack was facially unbelievable in many of its details.
The unbelievable elements of the original allegation did not stop the media and many politicians from immediately denouncing the racist attack as a fact. Harris described what happened to Jussie Smollett as an “attempted modern-day lynching.” Nancy Pelosi said it was a “homophobic attack and an affront to our humanity.”
He was given a fawning interview by Robin Roberts of ABC, which ended with her calling his comments “beautiful.”
ROBERTS: It’s been two weeks since that night left actor Jussie Smollett bruised but not broken.
SMOLLETT: I still want to believe, with everything that has happened, that there’s something called justice. Because if I stop believing that, then what was it all for?
ROBERTS: Beautiful, thank you, Jussie.
On ABC’s The Talk one host objected “The media has really cast so much doubt on his story, which I find so personally offensive that a gay Black man is targeted and then suddenly he becomes the victim of people’s disbelief.”
That disbelief now extends to his lawyers. If a judge lunged at counsel and has been making faces from the bench, I would expect an emergency motion and possible appeal. Such a demand for recusal of a judge who is allegedly lunging at counsel would not ordinarily ended with a simple sidebar.