Little surprise that the name of the First Family would surface in this case.
Like a typical TV drama, the Jussie Smollett case of a faked hate-crime has taken numerous thematic turns in its storyline. The actor, after launching himself into national headlines, has recently pled not guilty to 16 charges, connected to his fabricating a late-night attack at the end of January. Now a lead prosecutor in the State of Illinois may be facing legal punishment as well.
One of the outlets dependable on the details of the Smollett saga has been local news station Fox 32, and they have just reported that State Attorney Kim Foxx has been cited by local officials as having behaved unprofessionally in attempting to involve herself, and possibly steering the investigation on behalf of individuals connected to the actor. It appears that political connections have possibly led to the SA acting in an improper fashion during the then ongoing investigation.
The Fraternal Order of Police for the city of Chicago has sent out a formal letter to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois calling for an investigation into the Foxx involvement in the Smollett case. In making the request the FOP says, “Attorneys are not allowed to interfere with ongoing police investigations, particularly at the request of private individuals associated with subjects being investigated….(her) whole office should have recused itself and a special prosecutor been appointed.”
It was on February 19 that Foxx made the curious announcement that she was recusing herself from the case, and now it appears the reason behind that decision was more serious than anticipated. Much earlier in the investigation, Foxx had approached the Chicago Police superintendent to convince him to turn over the investigation to the Chicago FBI field office. Her request went unheeded
It turns out Foxx was compelled to do so after speaking directly with a family member of Jussie Smollett. She had been placed in contact with this individual at the behest of Tina Tchen, a Chicago attorney. Tchen is also the former Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and is a close friend of the wife of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Tchen arranged for Foxx and the family member to begin discussing options on February 1 (just days after the incident was first reported). They began to seek the possible option of moving the case to Federal authorities. In copies of messages between the parties (obtained by local outlets through FOIA requests), there appears to be the effort made to influence the local police to turn the case over.
On Feb. 1, Tchen sent a text message to Foxx: “I wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know. They have concerns about the investigation.”
A Foxx email to Tchen later the same day stated: “Spoke to the Superintendent Johnson — I convinced him to Reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation. He is reaching out now and will get to me shortly.”
That night Foxx wrote to the family member: “Spoke to the superintendent earlier. He is going to make the ask. Trying to figure out logistics. I’ll keep you posted.”
The Family Member responds: “OMG this would be a huge victory.”
So it appears that the fiasco that has been the Jussie Smollett case may, in fact, grow and end up involving even more characters. We will have to remain tuned in to see what other plot twists take place in this ongoing melodrama.