Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said in an editorial that she welcomes an outside review of her office’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case, as she insisted that the “Empire” actor has not been “exonerated” — despite the actions of her office.
“Since it seems politically expedient right now to question my motives and actions, and those of my office, let me state publicly and clearly that I welcome an outside, nonpolitical review of how we handled this matter,” Foxx wrote in a Friday night op-ed for the Chicago Tribune.
“I am not perfect, nor is any other prosecutor out there, but ensuring that I and my office have our community’s trust is paramount.”
Windy City prosecutors were lambasted for their sudden decision to drop all 16 felony charges against the “Empire” star — who was accused of making up a racist, homophobic attack on himself in January.
Foxx “colloquially” recused herself from any decision-making in the case, because she had been put in touch with a member of Smollett’s family days after the alleged attack — via prominent Chicago attorney and Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, Tina Tchen — and tried to convince the FBI to take over the case.
Foxx wrote Friday her office’s decision to nix the charges was based on “specific aspects of the evidence and testimony . . . that would have made securing a conviction against Smollett uncertain.”
She said she would “prefer” records detailing those aspects “be made public,” but because Smollett successfully requested the case be sealed her “office is barred from releasing” them.
She also said the community’s ire over Smollett’s allegedly false story was no reason to prosecute him, adding she preferred to save prosecutors’ resources for “the most serious crimes.”
“Yes, falsely reporting a hate crime makes me angry, and anyone who does that deserves the community’s outrage,” Foxx wrote. “But, as I’ve said since before I was elected, we must separate the people at whom we are angry from the people of whom we are afraid.”
She also noted that Smollett had not been exonerated in the case.
“Claims by Smollett or others that the outcome of this case has ‘exonerated’ him or that he has been found innocent are simply wrong,” Foxx wrote. “He has not been exonerated; he has not been found innocent.”
Police maintain Smollett made up the attack to advance his career. He was ordered to pay $130,00 to cover the cost of the investigation.
The FBI announced Wednesday it is probing prosecutors’ mysterious March 26 decision to dismiss the case.
Source: Read Full Article