Thursday, 12 March 2020

Chicago Prosecutor Kim Foxx Calls Jussie Smollett Issue ‘Bullsh**,’ Says It Was Just A ‘Transparency’ Problem

Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx is facing a difficult re-election campaign and could be out of a job as early as next Tuesday, but she’s still insisting that the “Jussie Smollett issue” was widely overblown and that concern over her office’s special treatment of Smollett — which included a one-time-only “plea deal” that didn’t involve a guilty plea — was and is the result of a “transparency problem.”
Foxx has been underfire from her opponents over the Smollett affair, which saw her office ink a sweetheart deal with the former “Empire” actor, after he was charged with sixteen counts of making false statements to police — false statements connected to an allegedly hoax hate crime that took place early in 2019.
Smollett, of course, claimed to have been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack, which took place in the early hours of a frigid January morning, just outside his apartment in Chicago’s tony Streeterville neighborhood. According to Smollett, he was assaulted by two white men wearing “Make America Great Again” hats. The men taunted Smollett, threw a “noose” around his neck, splashed him with a chemical substance, and then left him for dead, but not before telling Smollett to watch his back because “this is MAGA country.”
Chicago police later discovered, according to official reports, that Smollett had orchestrated the attack, working with two brothers he’d met on the set of “Empire” to stage the assault as a way of increasing Smollett’s visibility and name recognition (a change that Smollett allegedly hoped would lead to a pay hike on “Empire”).
Foxx’s office initially charged Smollett with sixteen counts of lying to cops but later dropped the charges after making a deal with Smollett that involved a mere 16 hours of community service and forefeitting his $10,000 bond check — but did not involve Smollett admitting guilt.
The bargain was so egregious, a special prosecutor became involved and, just weeks ago, that same special prosecutor revived at least six charges against Smollett. He continues to investigate Foxx’s office.
The incident, though, Foxx told a local news podcast last week, was one of transparency. The rest, she says, is “bullsh**.”
“This issue with Smollett … ’cause I’ll just take it head on … we’ve got 12 days left … is … excuse my language … is bullsh**. Sorry,” she said.
“Hold me accountable. Absolutely,” she added. “We could have done a better job of explaining how this fits in the context of the work that we do. And in the process of doing it, we owed a greater level of transparency to the people of Cook County.”
The problem though, as her opponents have pointed out, is that non-famous defendants, accused of similar crimes, haven’t received the kind of “deal” Smollett was apparently entitled to under Foxx’s policies.
As for Foxx’s “transparency,” the special prosecutor seems to have questions about that. One of the special prosecutor’s chief concerns seems to be Foxx’s involvement in negotiating the Smollett deal, and whether she improperly communicated with Smollett’s advocates, including a former Obama Administration official who was speaking directly to Smollett’s family and personally lobbying Foxx to pressure the Chicago Police Department into dropping Smollett’s case or handing the case off to the FBI.
There’s also questions about Foxx’s office’s handling of the case, and whether she and her associates were too close to the issue to make the right call, particularly in light of what Chicago police believe is overwhelming evidence of Smollett’s involvement in his own hate crime.
Concerns about Foxx’s “transparency” aren’t limited to the Smollett case, either. According to local watchdog CWB Chicago, emails recently surfaced that seem to indicate that Foxx was willing to do personal favors for a politically connected Chicago attorney. In that case, it appears an email to Foxx may have been a “get out of jail free” card for a convicted murderer.
Cook County voters will go to the polls next Tuesday to vote for Cook County State’s Attorney.

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