Following a wave of departures from her office and an intensifying inspector general investigation into her handling of the Jussie Smollett case, where she dropped a 16-count felony indictment against the actor after he allegedly faked his own hate crime, one retired judge is turning up the heat on Kim Foxx, Chicago’s state’s attorney.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Foxx has been subpoenaed by ex-appellate Judge Sheila O’Brien to appear at a hearing over her handling of the case. The judge is pushing for the appointment of a federal prosecutor.
O’Brien has also subpoenaed Foxx’s top deputy Joseph Magats; she also filed a document requesting that Smollett – who was accused of staging the attack for personal gain – appear at the hearing.
She alleged that Foxx’s handling of the case was “plagued with irregularity.”
“Foxx’s conflict in this matter is beyond dispute,” O’Brien argued, adding that Foxx should have sought appointment of a special prosecutor. “Instead, Foxx misled the public into believing that Smollett’s case was handled like any other prosecution and without influence.”
However, Foxx didn’t disclose that she had been in communication with a “family friend” of the Smolletts, former Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen.
In her subpoena, the former judge asked that Foxx and Magats produce all the original documents in the case to prove “that they have not been altered or destroyed and will not be destroyed throughout this case.”
Smollett, who is black and openly gay, told Chicago police that he was attacked in late January in Streeterville, the city neighborhood where he lived, as two white men yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, then poured bleach on him and tied a noose around his neck.
But after weeks where media figures spoke out about the racist culture inspired by Trump that had led to the attacks, the narrative started to unravel. After several inconsistencies – including the fact that video cameras showed two Nigerian brothers purportedly ‘attacking’ Smollett (Smollett had said his attackers were white), and the discovery of a check written by Smollett to the two brothers – surfaced, police eventually charged filed a smattering of charges against Smollett. Police said he staged the attack and filed a false report. Then, at a surprise hearing March 26, all charges were dropped. Foxx had recused herself from the case after allegations of improper influence surfaced, but the allegations that she improperly influenced the case have persisted.