Speaking to a group of police chiefs in Chicago on Monday, Donald Trump compared the House impeachment inquiry to former Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s staged hate crime.
Said Trump: “Then you have the case of this wise guy, Jussie Smollett who beat up … himself. And he said MAGA country did it — MAGA country … Okay? That’s a hate crime and it’s a scam. It’s a real big scam just like the impeachment of your president is a scam. …Smollett is still trying to get away with it. He would have been better off if he paid his $100,000 bill.”
Trump made the remarks after a laying into Chicago Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
CNN adds: ‘Johnson, Chicago’s police superintendent, has asserted Smollett paid two brothers $3,500 to stage the attack and take “advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”A legal battle is currently being fought in federal court as Chicago seeks to recover more than $130,000 to cover police overtime during the investigation of Smollett’s report. The actor has refused for months to pay the city. His attorney has said he won’t pay and that he denies making any false claims to investigators.Though Trump has asserted that the impeachment inquiry is a “scam,” evidence backs up the claims made in the intelligence community whistleblower report about the White House’s interactions with Ukraine — the report which sparked the inquiry. Impeachment is also part of a constitutionally spelled out separation of powers.’
Johnson responded to Trump’s criticism: