The president of the Chicago police union has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx interfered in the police investigation of "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett after Michelle Obama's former Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen, called in a favor, according to WLS-TV.
Foxx recused herself from the case on Feb. 20 "out of an abundance of caution" because of "familiarity with potential witnesses in the case."
Translation: Michelle Obama's former CoS contacted Foxx saying that Smollett's family had "concerns" about the investigation, so Foxx tried to get the case transferred from CPD to the FBI. She was told to pound sand based on "a lack of evidence" that Smollett was the victim of a hate crime.
Smollett claimed that he was the victim of a predawn hate crime on January 29 in which two white men assaulted him while he was on his way home after buying a sandwich; hurling racial and antigay slurs at him, dousing him in a chemical, placing a noose around his neck (which he was still wearing when police arrived later that morning), and punching him in the face.
Police allege that Smollett, who is black and gay, staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted to boost his profile. Others have suggested that Smollett wanted to frame Trump supporters as bigots, with some even going so far as to connect the 'hate crime hoax' to an anti-lynching bill introduced by Democratic Senators Kamala Harris (CA) and Cory Booker (NJ).
He now faces 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report.
That may not have happened if Tchen had her way.
"Spoke to the Superintendent Johnson," Foxx emailed Tchen on Feb. 1, in reference to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. "I convinced him to Reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation."
Foxx also texted with one of Smollett's relatives whose name was redacted from the text release, saying: "Spoke to the superintendent earlier, he made the ask ... Trying to figure out logistics. I’ll keep you posted."
"OMG this would be a huge victory" the family member texted back.
"I make no guarantees, but I'm trying" replied Foxx
Looks like Foxx was wise to 'make no guarantees'
"There was no federal jurisdiction," said Guglielmi, who added that the FBI has been assisting the police investigation. "If there was ever a point where they felt it was within federal jurisdiction, it would have easily gone there."
A Chicago police spokesperson said the FBI was always involved but never took over the investigation because there was never evidence that Smollett had been the victim of a hate crime.
Police said they have evidence to prove that Smollett faked the attack because he wasn't satisfied with his salary on the "Empire" show, but attorneys for Smollett say there has been a lot of misinformation in this case and Smollett is innocent. WLS-TV
Smollett's next court date is set for April 17.