Bad News for Prosecutor in Smollett Case as Questions of Her Breaking the Law Are Raised

WATCH: Chicago Police Superintendent Minces No Words in Response to Jussie’s Charges Being Dropped

A lot of questions are being raised about the Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx after her office dropping the charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett.

The Fraternal Order of Police had already asked for a federal investigation into Foxx’s alleged interference in the case after she requested that the case be transferred to the FBI earlier in the investigation at the behest of the former chief of staff for Michelle Obama, Tina Tchen, and a member of the Smollett family.

Now the FOP has renewed that call for a federal investigation. Graham refers to Tchen as Smollett’s “private attorney.”

From Patch:

On Tuesday, hours after charges against Smollett were dropped, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police president Kevin Graham rushed to the Dirksen Federal Court building to ask the feds to investigate whether Foxx violated any laws in her role as Cook County’s top prosecutor.

“There’s text messages going back-and-forth between Foxx and Smollett’s private attorney. That’s a real problem. We asked for an investigation before because something didn’t smell right. Now, a judge sealed the court records so you can’t even get a copy of the police investigation,” Graham said.

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“I made sure the U.S. Attorney had a copy of our letter asking for an investigation in his hand.”

The text messages between Foxx-Tchen and between Foxx and a Smollett relative confirmed that she had spoken with Johnson about transferring the matter. The family member said, “OMG this would (be a) huge victory.” Foxx responded, “I make no guarantees but I am trying.”

In February, Foxx had said that she was recusing herself without clarifying why, saying her first assistant, Joe Magats, would be in charge of the matter.

The problem?

Whether that was proper.

Patch points to the provision of the state law that says if a prosecutor recuses herself that the court would then appoint a special prosecutor.

However, despite her public statement, her office now claims she didn’t actually recuse herself formally.

Cook County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Kiera Ellis said in a statement that Fox “did not formally recuse herself or the [State’s Attorney] Office based on any actual conflict of interest. As a result, she did not have to seek the appointment of a special prosecutor.”

When Fox publicly announced that she had recused herself “it was a colloquial use of the term rather than in its legal sense,” Ellis said.

“Instead, in an abundance of caution, Fox informally separated herself from the decision-making over the case and left it to her Assistants, as happens in 99.9% of all cases handled by the Office.”

So she “recused” but didn’t actually recuse? Wait, what? And is she really claiming her contact with Tchen and the Smollett relative who asked her to intervene in the matter isn’t a problem?

Both the Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the decision to drop the charges, with Emanuel calling it a “whitewash of justice” and “not on the level.” The State’s Attorney’s office didn’t tell Johnson ahead of time about dropping the charges, he confirmed he found out about the same time as everyone else did.

Foxx’s office claimed this was not an unusual way to handle such a case.

From I Heart Radio.com:

“They weren’t happy about it but here we are,” Ellis said. “We’re not trying this in the court of public opinion. The decision was made to handle this like any Class 4 felony against someone without any prior convictions.”

In the last two years, the state’s attorney’s office referred more than 5,700 cases for alternative prosecution.

Foxx’s office released this statement: “This is not a new or unusual practice. An alternative disposition does not mean that there were any problems or infirmities with the case or the evidence. We stand behind the Chicago Police Department’s investigation and our decision to approve charges in this case. We did not exonerate Mr. Smollett. The charges were dropped in return for Mr. Smollett’s agreement to do community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago. Without the completion of these terms, the charges would not have been dropped. This outcome was met under the same criteria that would occur for and is available to any defendant with similar circumstances.”

Smollett previously pled no contest in 2008 to three misdemeanors including giving the police a phony name (his brother’s name), driving under the influence and driving without a license. He got two years probation, paid a fine and completed an alcohol program. But apparently they weren’t counting that because it was a “no contest” plea.

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