Jussie Smollett. Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

And just like that, the Jussie Smollett legal saga is over, with Chicago officials fuming over what Mayor Rahm Emanuel called a "whitewash of justice."

Why it matters: This has been one of the biggest non-Trump stories of 2019, with Smollett's status shifting from apparent hate crime victim to apparent hoaxer facing felony charges.

  • Now his 16 counts for disorderly conduct have been dropped in exchange for community service and forfeiting his bail bond, the Chicago Tribune reports.
  • In another surprise, the judge overseeing Smollett's case sealed the public court file, the Tribune notes.

What they're saying:

  • Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office: “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the city of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case."
  • Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson: “Do I think justice was served? No. ... At the end of the day ... it’s Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax.”
  • Rahm Emanuel: “Where is the accountability in the system? ... You cannot have, because of a person’s position, one set of rules apply to them and one set of rules apply to everybody else.”
  • Prosecutor Joseph Magats: “The fact that [Smollett] feels that we have exonerated him, we have not. I can’t make it any clearer than that."
  • Smollett after the hearing: “I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain. I have been truthful and consistent from day one."
  • Fox Entertainment, the home of "Empire," his TV show: “Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed."

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