The special prosecutor investigating how Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx carried out the Jussie Smollett hate hoax investigation has found “substantial abuses of discretion” in Foxx’s actions.
Early in 2019, the former Empire star claimed that he was attacked by MAGA hat-wearing racists who beat him and poured bleach on him in downtown Chicago in the dead of night during below zero weather. But a Chicago police investigation claimed that Smollett invented the attack. Smollett was arrested and charged with the fraud. But Cook County Prosecutor Kim Foxx quickly dismissed the case and released Smollett, dropping the charges.
Foxx’s rush to release Smollett sparked a special investigation into her actions, led by Dan Webb, who began investigating the case. Webb found a number of transgressions committed by Foxx and her office. While Webb demurred in finding that Foxx broke any laws during her involvement in the case, he still noted that many of her actions were dubious, at best, and unethical at worst, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
In one instance, Webb found that Foxx lied about ceasing her communications with Smollett after it became known that the Chicago Police Department was looking to charge him with a crime.
Indeed, Webb discovered records proving that Foxx continued to discuss Smollett’s case with his actress sister, Jurnee Smollett, up to eight times after she publicly claimed she was no longer in contact with the Smolletts.
“State’s Attorney Foxx learned by February 8, 2019, that Mr. Smollett had become a suspect in CPD’s investigation, yet she continued communicating with Ms. Smollett through February 13, 2019, including via five text messages and three phone calls. State’s Attorney Foxx then made false statements to the media claiming she ceased all communications with Ms. Smollett as soon as she learned that Mr. Smollett was a suspect in CPD’s investigation and no longer merely a victim,” Webb said in his summary.
Webb also said that Foxx’s claims that she had to recuse herself from the case and her subsequent intention to appoint an “acting state’s attorney” for the case were legally suspect. Rather, she should have asked a judge to appoint a special prosecutor. Webb added that Foxx “made the decision to ignore this major legal defect seemingly because they did not want to admit that they had made such a major mistake of judgment regarding State’s Attorney Foxx’s recusal.” Then, Foxx made it worse by issuing false statements to the press about what she knew about the matter.
Webb said that his investigation found evidence that Foxx’s actions “may rise to the level of a violation of legal ethics by State’s Attorney Foxx” and other Cook County prosecutors “relating to false and/or misleading public statements made about the prosecution.”
Webb has supplied a 60-page report to the court that will not be made public at this time because as it contains grand jury information. Webb added that he would urge the court to release his report as soon as possible.
Despite the announcement that his investigation is completed, Webb did not explain how the final decision was made by Kim Foxx to drop the charges against Smollett, letting him go free. Whether that information is in the full, secret 60-page report is not yet known.
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