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Smollett Finally Turns Over Phone Records, But Investigators Notice Huge Missing Pieces

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The news cycle being what it is, stories tend to wash out relatively quickly. Thus, most of us have forgotten about “Empire” star Jussie Smollett’s alleged victimization at the hands of two white hate criminals who apparently used homophobic and racial slurs against the gay, black actor during an alleged assault in Chicago while telling him, “This is MAGA country.”

There were several things that seemed rank about the whole account, not the least of which was that neither Smollett nor his manager would turn over phone records even though the two said they were talking to each other at the time of the assault and that the manager heard the politically charged language being hurled at Smollett.

Finally, two weeks after the attack, it seemed that there had been a break on that end:

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“Chicago police received limited and redacted phone records from the victim,” Chicago Police spokesman Tom Ahern said, according to WBBM Newsradio.

“These records will be analyzed by detectives and we will be in contact with the victim should additional information be needed.”

Do you believe Jussie Smollett's story?

It’s not just that they were “redacted,” however. Part of the problem is that the phone records were submitted to police in a format where they could easily be tampered with.

“Law enforcement sources tell us … what Jussie turned in 2 weeks after his alleged attack was a heavily redacted PDF file of his phone bill,” TMZ reported.

“Our sources say a PDF is subject to manipulation, meaning numbers can be added or deleted, although police are quick to point out there’s no evidence they were in fact manipulated. The problem … the only solid, irrefutable evidence is either the actual phone bill or a download of Jussie’s phone.”

I’m surprised TMZ needed sources to tell them this, but there you go. I’m sure this will help out, except for the fact that there’s no way to actually verify this without actually looking at the phone or the raw records, which Smollett and his manager refuse to turn over. So, in short, it won’t help at all.

One person on Twitter pretty much summed it up perfectly:

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More or less, yes.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this whole debacle is that the media seems utterly unwilling to call shenanigans on Smollett’s story at this point.

In spite of the fact that the alleged attack happened in one of the most heavily surveilled areas of Chicago, the action seems to have happened during a 60-second lacuna in video coverage.

The two persons of interest haven’t been located yet in spite of the fact that this is one of the highest-profile crimes in the country.

And, perhaps most puzzlingly, his Subway sandwich seems to have survived the attack just fine.

This case is beyond bizarre and it’ll likely only get stranger. Someone will likely end up being arrested, but it seems increasingly unlikely that it’ll be any alleged attacker.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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