Monday, March 18, 2019

Chicago cop union calls for feds to investigate prosecutor's actions in Smollett case

Jussie Smollett and Kim Foxx | Fox
The labor union that represents Chicago’s front line police officers is asking the Justice Department to investigate Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s involvement in the Jussie Smollett hate crime investigation.

Foxx recused herself late in the investigation, but only after she intervened in the case by asking Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson to turn the investigation over to the FBI at the request of a Smollett relative and a former Obama administration official, according to newly-released emails and text messages.

Foxx and the Smollett relative were put in touch with each other by private attorney Tina Tchen, who served as chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama and as an assistant to President Barack Obama.

In a letter to John R. Lausch, the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham wrote, “private attorneys are not allowed to interfere with ongoing police investigations, particularly at the request of private individuals associated with subjects being investigated by the police.”

Graham calls Foxx’s late-hour recusal from the case, “wholly insufficient,” telling Lausch that her conduct “merits a review by your office.”

“In order for Ms. Foxx to properly charge and try this case, her entire office should have recused itself and a special prosecutor been appointed,” Graham argues in the letter dated Friday and provided to CWBChicago over the weekend.

In an email on Feb. 1—just three days after Smollett reported the purported hate crime—Foxx wrote an email to Tchen: “Spoke to Superintendent Johnson. I convinced him to reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation.”

After receiving the same news from Foxx via text message later the same day, the unnamed Smollett relative replied, “OMG this would be a huge victory.”

“I make no guarantees,” Foxx responded, “but I’m trying.”

“Victory of what? For whom? Why?” Graham asks in his letter to Lausch.

The FBI never took control of the investigation into Smollett’s elaborate hate crime allegations, but the bureau has been leading a separate federal investigation of a threat letter laced with white powder that was mailed to Smollett about a week before he reported being attacked. The powder was found to be crushed acetaminophen, according to Chicago Fire Department testing cited in a CPD report.


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CWBChicago's previous reporting in the Jussie Smollett case may be found here.
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