Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has been subpoenaed to appear in court by a retired appellate judge who is seeking a special prosecutor to investigate the “irregularities” associated with Foxx’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case.
The retired judge, Sheila O’Brien, filed a series of subpoenas Friday demanding that Foxx, Foxx’s top deputy Joseph Magats, and Smollett himself appear in court bearing the original documents produced in connection with the hoax Smollett allegedly staged, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
Foxx dropped all charges against Smollett in late March, weeks after the police produced substantial evidence to suggest he’d staged a hate crime against himself to advance his career. In her petition requesting the appointment of a special prosecutor, O’Brien said Foxx’s handling of the case was “plagued with irregularities.”
“Foxx’s conflict in this matter is beyond dispute,” O’Brien wrote, adding that Foxx should have sought appointment of a special prosecutor rather than informally recusing herself. “Instead, Foxx misled the public into believing that Smollett’s case was handled like any other prosecution and without influence,” she said.
After announcing to the public that she had recused herself from the case based on some unspecified conflict of interest, Foxx intervened in the investigation on behalf of one of Smollett’s relatives. The relative reached out to Foxx through Tina Tchen, Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, to ask that the case be transferred to the FBI to prevent leaks to the media. Foxx attempted to comply with that request but was rebuffed by Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson, according to text messages obtained by the Sun Times.
Foxx also continued to manage the case by cautioning Magats against aggressively prosecuting Smollett.
“Sooo……I’m recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases…16 counts on a class 4 becomes exhibit A,” Foxx wrote to Magats in a text message sent in early March and obtained by the Chicago Tribune.
“Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16. On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it’s indicative of something we should be looking at generally. Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should,” she added, referring to the case of disgraced pop singer R. Kelly.
Cook County judge Marc Martin chastised Foxx in court last week for choosing to prosecute a suburban woman for filing a false police report after declining to prosecute Smollett for the same crime.
“Well, Ms. Clark is not a movie star, she doesn’t have a high-price lawyer, although, her lawyer’s very good. And this smells, big time. I didn’t create this mess, your office created this mess. And your explanation is unsatisfactory to this court. She’s being treated differently,” Martin said to Foxx during the court proceeding, according to a transcript obtained by a local Fox affiliate.