Thursday, March 28, 2019

Smollett Case: State Attorney Expresses Regret

Friends In High Places?
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, facing intense criticism after her office dropped all charges against Jussie Smollett, stood by the decision but said she regretted dealing with one of Smollett’s relatives in the early phases of the investigation.

Foxx said she would never have gotten involved if she knew that Smollett would later be deemed a suspect and not a victim.

Kim Foxx (Tribune photo)
“I’ve never had a victim that turned into a suspect,” she told the The Chicago Tribune on Wednesday. “… In hindsight as we see (how) all of it has played out, you know, is there regret that I engaged with the family member? Absolutely."

Due to her contact with that family member, Foxx withdrew from involvement in the case when investigators started casting suspicion on Smollett, who had reported to police that he was the victim of a hate crime.

Smollett was later indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct on charges he staged the attack on himself, but in a sudden reversal Tuesday, prosecutors dropped all the charges at an unannounced court hearing. The move drew breathless international news coverage and harsh words from police brass and City Hall.

Foxx maintained that she had no role in the dismissal but defended the move, saying her office often handles cases in a similar fashion for defendants with nonviolent backgrounds — an assertion that a number of Chicago attorneys contacted by the Tribune disputed.

Communications released to the Tribune earlier this month showed Foxx had asked police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to turn over the investigation to the FBI after she was approached by a politically connected lawyer about the case.

Foxx reached out to Johnson after Tina Tchen, former chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, emailed Foxx saying the actor's family had unspecified "concerns about the investigation." Tchen, a close friend of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's wife, said she was acting on behalf of the "Empire" actor and his family. A relative later exchanged texts with Foxx. A spokeswoman for the office said at the time that Smollett’s relative was concerned about leaks from Chicago police to the media.

Breitbart is reporting left-wing billionaire mega-donor George Soros donated $408,000 in 2016 to a super PAC that supported the election campaign of Foxx' , whose office prosecuted — and dropped — the Jussie Smollett case.
George Soros

Soros has spent heavily on backing “progressive” candidates for local prosecutorial offices across the nation, following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014, which alleged that black defendants have been treated unfairly by the justice system.

Foxx ran in 2016 against incumbent Anita Alvarez, who faced intense public controversy over the 2014 murder of a black teenager, LaQuan McDonald, by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke.

As reported in 2016, Alvarez received donations from the “old-boy” network, but Foxx found other donors, including Soros.  State campaign finance records show that Soros personally contributed a total of $333,000 to Foxx’s super PAC before the March 15, 2016 primary was over, and an additional $75,000 after she won.

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