With local prosecutors inexplicably dropping all charges against disgraced “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, red flags were flying and most of them centered around Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
Corruption is a Chicago trademark and while Foxx has not been charged with any criminal behavior, let alone convicted, John Yoo, a former deputy assistant attorney general under the Bush administration, said she could face up to a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Appearing on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” Woo responded to President Donald Trump announcing on Twitter that the Justice Department and the FBI will look into the Smollett case debacle, telling host Laura Ingraham this is “why we have a U.S. Justice Department.”
Ingraham began the segment by noting that when Foxx claimed she had recused herself from the case, she didn’t formally recuse herself.
Fox News contributor Guy Benson explained in a tweet, “Foxx’s office now admitting she didn’t *actually* recuse herself from the Smollett case, legally speaking. They just used that word “colloquially,” for public consumption.”
Wow. Foxx’s office now admitting she didn’t *actually* recuse herself from the Smollett case, legally speaking. They just used that word “colloquially,” for public consumption. pic.twitter.com/b63Mhct2ln
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) March 28, 2019
Foxx reportedly recused herself from the Smollett case on Feb. 13. Her office sat on the news for almost a week, issuing a statement on Feb.19 with no explanation.
After the charges were dropped against Smollett for staging his own hate crime attack, the case was immediately sealed. After an outcry over this, Foxx came back to say that it was “inadvertent.”
“The court file was not supposed to be sealed,” she stated. “I think what happened, the clerk sealed the whole thing. We did not advocate, do not believe that the court file should be sealed.”
And prior to Smollett being cleared, former first lady Michelle Obama’s then-chief of staff, Tina Tchen, intervened on behalf of the Smollett family in a series of messages with Foxx.
The putrid odor of it all prompted the president’s action.
“This is why we have a US Justice Department,” Woo explained. “Okay, so maybe they just spent a lot of time investigating President Trump to no good effect, but now they actually exist to make sure there’s no corruption going on in state government.”
“If you look at the details of this case where Mrs. Obama’s chief of staff calls the prosecutor Kim Foxx and all of the sudden these machinations occur and then the case gets dropped,” he said. “That is exactly what the Justice Department is supposed to be involved in, to make sure there is no corruption in state government. So I hope that President Trump is right and that the FBI is starting an investigation to look into this.”
Ingraham then asked Yoo to explain the potential criminal exposure for Foxx and her office.
“So Foxx could be potentially liable of what is called mail wire fraud of depriving citizens of their honest services,” he responded. “Which if she is convicted, this is the standard law that is used to go after corrupt state officials, …the maximum sentence is 20 years in prison.”
Yoo also said that Smollett could still face federal charges as well.
To be clear, the the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association issued a statement highly critical of how the Smollett case was handled.
“It now looks like Cook County’s ‘deal’ with Jussie Smollett isn’t just strange, it might actually be in violation of Illinois law,” tweeted The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti.
It now looks like Cook County's "deal" with Jussie Smollett isn't just strange, it might actually be in violation of Illinois law. https://t.co/7j3jnqJyO4
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) March 28, 2019
The statement reads in part:
The manner in which this case was dismissed was abnormal and unfamiliar to those who practice law in criminal courthouses across the State. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges alike do not recognize the arrangement Mr. Smollett received. Even more problematic, the State’s Attorney and her representatives have fundamentally misled the public on the law and circumstances surrounding the dismissal.
The public has the right to know the truth, and we set out to do that here.
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