Special Prosecutor to Examine Jussie Smollett Case in Chicago

Joshua Lott/File Photo/Reuters

A Chicago judge on Friday ordered a special prosecutor to examine the handling of actor Jussie Smollett’s discredited claim that he was the victim of a hate crime, setting up the possibility he could be criminally charged a second time, a police spokesman said.

Smollett, who is black and gay and at the time had a role on the television show “Empire,” ignited a firestorm on social media after he told police on Jan. 29 that he was attacked on a street outside his Chicago home.

He said two apparent supporters of President Donald Trump struck him, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach over him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs.

Police later charged Smollett with filing a false police report and accused him of paying $3,500 to two men to stage the attack to generate public sympathy. Prosecutors dropped the charges in March, saying an agreement by Smollett to forfeit his $10,000 bond was a just outcome.

Trump, Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor at the time; and the city’s police superintendent criticized the decision by State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office to drop charges.

Former Illinois appellate court judge Sheila O’Brien has since submitted a petition to Cook County Judge Michael Toomin requesting a special prosecutor to examine Foxx’s handling of the Smollett case, according to local media.

Toomin issued an order on Friday appointing the special prosecutor, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed by phone.

The special prosecutor will look into the “whole investigation” and as a result “Mr. Smollett could face charges,” Guglielmi said by phone.

“We stand firmly behind the work of detectives in investigating the fabricated incident reported by Jussie Smollett & #ChicagoPolice will fully cooperate with the court appointed special prosecutor,” Guglielmi wrote on Twitter.

Mark Geragos, an attorney for Smollett, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Foxx recused herself from the case before charges were filed against Smollett because of conversations she had about the incident with one of Smollett’s relatives, according to her spokesman.

A spokeswoman for Foxx’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.

The initial reports of two Trump supporters attacking a gay, black celebrity drew widespread sympathy for Smollett, particularly from Democrats. That faded quickly after the actor’s arrest.

Smollett turned 37 years old on Friday.

“Empire” creator Lee Daniels confirmed earlier this month that Smollett would not be returning to the show.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Charles
Member

More Democrat dirty tricks, trying to keep up the anti-Trump rhetoric. That’s what this incident was all about.

Homer
Guest
Homer

Jussie Smollett should be prosecuted to the same extent as a white man would be, who committed a planned HATE CRIME.

Chicago’s problem is not racism. Chicago’s problem is people of color shooting each other every day.

Once convicted, Jessie’s punishment should be picking up litter between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM for six weeks in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.

Otis
Member

Liar Smollett should be in prison and forced to pay reparations to Chicago and by all means, Foxx should be investigated.

Friend
Member

About time that this slimeball racist faces jail time…

william jackson
Member

Smutlett and Foxx both belong in prison!

Don Mackay
Member

This is yet another example of show business types demanding, and getting (hopefully temporarily in this instance) special treatment. What if a gay, black special prosecutor is appointed? Special Prosecutor Mueller clearly demonstrated the shortcomings of the special prosecutorial system. Why not a randomly chosen Grand Jury? Wasting valuable police time over a manufactured, self serving and narcissistic publicity stunt in the murder capital of America is serious. Why, even Rahm Emanual criticized the decision to drop the charges, and State Attorney Foxx’ reason for exempting herself is pretty weak.

Cherl
Member

Well it’s about time! Hope he saved his money because his celebrity is about to take a turn. And not in a good way. Foxx put her career on the line for what? A liar.

Bonnie Keever
Member

Hahahahaha hahahahaha

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