Crains - Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her staff badly mishandled the prosecution of TV star Jussie Smollett and repeatedly made “false and misleading statements” to the public about what they did.
The report is extraordinarily harsh in its appraisal of how Foxx’s office first charged Smollett with a series of felonies, then abruptly dropped all charges with minimal explanation.
Among crucial revelations is that Foxx was in regular touch via phone calls and texts with Jurnee Smollett, Jussie Smollett’s sister, for at least five days after Foxx knew that the Chicago Police Department had opened an investigation into the actor for making a false report.
The report says Webb found no proof that would warrant criminal charges against either Foxx or aides. But it underlines that there may be enough for state attorney-licensing authorities to take action.
I know we're really beating a dead horse with Jussie Smollett but same time we've been on this story since it first dropped and today there's big news.
This legal stuff can get confusing so I'll briefly summarize the madness: Jussie Smollett was arrested in 2019 and initially charged with a bunch of crimes related to his alleged attack. Then about a month later, charges were mysteriously dropped and Smollett was off the hook for just $10K and 15-hours of very soft community service. Most rationale people could smell the bullshit from a mile away.
In response, the Circuit Court of Cook County (read: the Chicagoland court system) appointed a special prosecutor to examine two key areas of the Smollett case: (1) Should he be re-prosecuted because Kim Foxx's office screwed it up? and (2) Did anyone else commit any crimes in the process? That's a simple-man's way of understanding the special prosecutor. The court brought him in and gave him legally-protected free rein to make sense of what really happened.
Here's a glaring example:
I've read through the report and it basically reads like a small business struggling to adapt to a new economy has been tabbed with fulfilling a multi-billion dollar sales order for the Department of Defense. Imagine a small mom and pop shop that manufactures cardboard boxes has been hired to build 48 Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters by the end of the month. I honestly feel like they'd be better equipped to build helicopters than Kim Foxx's office is at handling a high-profile layup prosecution. The word I'm looking for is jarring.
Paraphrasing dozens of interviews, many employees that work under Kim Foxx were straight up bamboozled with how things were handled. Basically saying that it was confusing and made no sense with how things were handled and how Smollett walked without as much as a wrist slap.
Well turns out the office used a "substantial abuse of discretion" in order to reach its desired results. In the period of a month, the CCSAO went from a strong case against Smollett to letting him walk without any new evidence. No admission or wrongdoing or public accountability. There's absolutely no rhyme or reason to how the prosecution decided to change their mind on charges. In fact it's quite the opposite - there's major conflict throughout the report about who was responsible for what. The level of incompetence is shocking and that's coming from an extremely jaded and personally skeptical guy. I'm coming into this expecting the worst and even I have to rub my eyes reading through the specifics.
You can find the whole report here. You can gloss over the first couple pages until you get to the table of contents. Then just follow the bolded outline and you should figure it out. They lay out this clusterfuck pretty clearly.
Some big takeaways:
- There's 11 concrete examples of substantial abuses of discretion. That's 11 more than you'd like to see.
- There's no criminal charges for Kim Foxx but evidence of violating state-ethics policies. Sad thing is that won't matter one iota in a public forum because I don't think such things exist
- There's a conclusion that the States Attorney's Office lied to the general public which everyone knows is Coors Light cold hard truth. Maybe even the coldest beer in the six pack. No shit, although it feels good to know it's in plain text like that
- Kim Foxx was allegedly still feeding information to Smollett's sister after she "recused" herself from the case
- A bunch of other shit
We've been talking about this case for basically the entire time Barstool Chicago 2.0 has been full time and it's downright exhausting now. Nobody's surprised but same time nobody wants to know exactly how shady some of this stuff can be. (Spoiler: EXTREMELY shady).
In other news, Jeff D Lowe once made Empire the answer to a Dozen trivia question for Team Chicago and I almost died on spot. Empire sucks.
Go read the full report and leave an intelligent comment below.