Kim Foxx, Who Dropped Smollett's Charges, Now Says She Supports New Indictment
Chicago, IL – Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said she supported the special prosecutor’s new indictment against actor Jussie Smollett on Tuesday despite the fact her office dropped the charges against him initially.
A Cook County special grand jury indicted Smollett on Feb. 11 after a six month investigation by Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, WBBM reported.
“The grand jury’s investigation revealed that Jussie Smollett planned and participated in a staged hate crime attack, and thereafter made numerous false statements to Chicago Police Department officers on multiple occasions, reporting a heinous hate crime that he, in fact, knew had not occurred,” Webb said in a statement.
Smollett has been charged with six new counts of disorderly conduct for filing false police reports in connection with a faux hate attack he allegedly planned and executed on himself in January of 2019, WBBM reported.
Foxx brushed back accusations that her office had not been cooperating with the special prosecutor’s investigation into the handling of Smollett’s case the first time around.
She said the only difference in the two investigation was the dropping of charges against Smollett, WBBM reported.
“Our office filed charges in this case,” Foxx said. “It was the disposition that was cause for difference. He had the facts and the evidence to file charges.”
“We are continuing to avail ourselves to a review of how this case was handled,” she continued. “As I said from the very beginning we welcome the non-political review. And that’s ongoing.”
“We are certainly cooperating the best we can,” Foxx added.
The new indictment happened just one month after a Cook County judge ordered Google to turn over copious amount of information from the accounts Smollett and his manager and five months after the special prosecutor began his investigation.
The special prosecutor said in his statement about the indictment that his office “obtained sufficient factual evidence to determine that it disagrees with how the [Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office] resolved the Smollett case,” WBBM reported.
Webb said the prosecutor’s office had not been able to provide evidence that Smollett’s case had been handled similarly to other cases when the charges were dropped, which was the excuse that Foxx provided at the time.
Smollett told police on Jan. 29, 2019 that he had been attacked by two white supporters of President Donald Trump on his way home from a Subway restaurant.
He claimed the men called him homophobic and anti-black slurs and told him “This is MAGA country” as they beat him up and put a noose around his neck. He also said they threw a chemical on him.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson explained at a press conference the day of Smollett’s arrest that that police considered the actor a victim up until Ola and Abel Osundairo returned from Nigeria to Chicago and were taken into police custody, and then the investigation “spun in a totally different direction.”
“We gave him the benefit of the doubt up until that 47th hour. But when we discovered the actual motive, quite frankly, it pissed everybody off,” he explained.
He said the brothers told police that Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, with another $500 after they returned from a planned trip to Nigeria.
“We have the check that he used to pay them,” Superintendent Johnson said.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced on March 8 that Smollett had been indicted by a grand jury on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct.
But then on March 26, the State’s Attorney’s Office unceremoniously announced all charges against the “Empire” actor had been dropped.
Cook County Judge Michael Toomin in June of 2019 appointed a special counsel to investigate what actually happened after information about Smollett hiding evidence and the involvement of Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, Tina Tchen, in the case.
Toomin said that Foxx was right to recuse herself from Smollett’s trial after she asked Commissioner Johnson to turn over the case to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after talking to Tchen, but that she did not have the authority to appoint her second-in-command to the prosecution in her stead, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Texts obtained by public records requests showed that Foxx herself called the Cook County Prosecutor’s Office’s excuse for withdrawing from the case “bulls--t,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Toomin gave the special prosecutor a broad mandate to investigate what had happened with the case from beginning to end and what all parties involved had done.
Smollett is due to appear in court on Webb’s charges on Feb. 24, WFLD reported.