The Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association (IPBA) has condemned Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for her handling of the Jussie Smollett case, calling her dismissal of the charges, and public statements, unethical and misleading.
The statement, issued on behalf of the IPBA’s 1,000 members, disputes Foxx’s claims that the case was handled in a typical fashion, and that it was a “deferred prosecution.” The statement reads, in part:
The events of the past few days regarding the Cook County State’s Attorney’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case is not condoned by the IPBA, nor is it representative of the honest ethical work prosecutors provide to the citizens of the State of Illinois on a daily basis.
The manner in which this case was dismissed was abnormal and unfamiliar to those who practice law in criminal courthouses across the State. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges alike do not recognize the arrangement Mr. Smollett received. Even more problematic, the State’s Attorney and her representatives have fundamentally misled the public on the law and circumstances surrounding the dismissal.
[T]he State’s Attorney kept the case within her office and thus never actually recused herself as a matter of law.
Additionally, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office falsely informed the public that the uncontested sealing of the criminal court case was “mandatory” under Illinois law. … The State’s Attorney not only declined to fight the sealing of this case in court, but then provided false information to the public regarding it.
Lastly, the State’s Attorney has claimed this arrangement is “available to all defendants” and “not a new or unusual practice.” There has even been an implication it was done in accordance with a statutory diversion program. These statements are plainly misleading and inaccurate.
The statement concludes: “Through the repeated misleading and deceptive statements to the public on Illinois law and circumstances surrounding the Smollett dismissal, the State’s Attorney has failed in her most fundamental ethical obligations to the public. The IPBA condemns these actions.”
This irregular arrangement was an affront to prosecutors across the State, the Chicago Police Department, victims of hate crimes, and the people of the City of Chicago and Cook County. We strongly encourage our members and the public to review the National District Attorneys Associations statement on prosecutorial best practices in high profile cases.
Read the full statement here.
Foxx was elected in 2016 after a super PAC supporting her campaign received $408,000 in contributions from billionaire left-wing mega-donor George Soros, who has funded “progressive” candidates for public prosecutorial offices ever since the eruption of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.