There’s been another interesting twist in the case of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
Police said after investigating the case said that Smollett had created the ‘hate crime’ attack on himself, engaging two brothers to be involved in it. He was charged last week with 16 counts of filing a false report, which is a felony, with each count carrying a possible three year term.
But now new documents show that a former aide to Barack Obama and chief of staff to Michelle Obama didn’t want the Chicago Police Department to be in charge of the case.
From Daily Wire:
According to USA Today, court documents reveal that Obama’s former chief of staff, Tina Tchen, contacted Kim Foxx, the Chicago-area’s lead prosecutor, before charges were brought against Smollett in February to request that the police department let the FBI take over the investigation into the since-fired “Empire” star.
The paper reports that texts and emails provided by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office show that Tchen told Foxx that Smollett’s family had “concerns” about how the Chicago PD were handling the case, which eventually turned dramatically against the actor and singer. Tchen, an attorney based in Chicago who co-founded the Times Up Legal Defense Fund, encouraged Foxx to contact Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to ask him to cede the investigation to federal authorities.
“Spoke to the Superintendent Johnson,” Foxx told Tchen in a February 1 email. “I convinced him to Reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation.”
In a text message with one of Smollett’s relatives, whose name USA Today reports was redacted, Foxx said, “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,” said the relative.
“I make no guarantees, but I’m trying,” responded Foxx.
Foxx later recused herself from the case and turned it over to her deputy Joe Magats.
After the bombshell dropped about the intervention by Tchen, Foxx claimed that the family was concerned about information leaking out and thought the FBI would keep a “tighter lid on the information” than would the Chicago PD.
And Johnson confirmed that Foxx did try to get him to turn over the case to the FBI. He said he did speak to the FBI, “We had conversations about it, but at the end of the day it stayed where it should have, in my opinion.”
The FBI are investigating a threatening letter that was sent to Smollett which Chicago PD has said they believe he sent to himself.
It’s more than a little troubling that the family would be able to lobby who was doing the investigating, especially with the help of a former Obama official.
And one has to wonder why they would think that the FBI would be a more favorable investigator than the Chicago PD.