Published: Sat, June 22, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Jussie Smollett: Special prosecutor will investigate dropped charges in "Empire" actor's case

Jussie Smollett: Special prosecutor will investigate dropped charges in

Specifically, the special prosecutor would examine State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office and its controversial decision to drop all charges against Smollett.

A Cook County judge has ruled in favor of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office.

Cook County Judge Michael P. Toomin said in his opinion that during the Smollett case "the ship of the State ventured from its protected harbor without the guiding hand of its captain". "County prosecutors oppose the move, saying a special prosecutor would duplicate the efforts of the county inspector general's office".

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In a tweet, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department stands "firmly behind the work of the detectives in investigating the fabricated incident reported by Jussie Smollett" and will fully cooperate with the special prosecutor. He has denied the allegations and prosecutors later dropped each of the 16 charges he faced. In calling for a special prosecutor, O'Brien said it appeared to her and others that Smollett had "received special treatment" from Foxx's office. What do you think will happen with this special prosecutor?!

Foxx had been in contact with a relative of the actor and had been approached by Michelle Obama's one-time chief of staff on behalf of Smollett's family, and she explained at the time that she was recusing herself to avoid "even the perception of a conflict" of interest. Then, after text messages revealed that she continued weighing in on the case in conversations with her deputy after her recusal, Foxx admitted that she had not actually recused herself "in the legal sense" and instead had only used the term in colloquially. A special prosecutor would have the authority to bring new charges against the "Empire" actor if there are "reasonable grounds" to do so, Toomin ruled. It will say a lot about just how independent and impartial this investigation will be. That is what happened in the case of former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, who was charged with murder in the 2014 shooting death of a black teenager, Laquan McDonald. However, in March, Foxx's office decided against moving forward with prosecuting Smollett. He had claimed to be the victim of a racist and homophobic attack perpetrated by Trump supporters who yelled "This is MAGA country!" at him.

Smollett will not appear on the upcoming season of Empire and his attorneys are now being sued for defamation by the Osundairo brothers, who claim they were hired by Smollett to stage the attack. And he will not return to his role on the Fox series "Empire".

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