Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx is on the defense after former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Tuesday on charges related to filing a false police report about the alleged Trump-inspired hate crime he reported in 2019.
Foxx recused herself from the subsequent investigation after Chicago police interviewed two brothers who said Smollett paid them to stage the attack, where he claimed two men in "Make America Great Again" hats assaulted him and called him homophobic and racial slurs, but her office continued the inquiry. The State's Attorney office then dropped all criminal charges against Smollett in exchange for paying a fee and requiring community service.
Foxx is running for reelection and her campaign said the timing of the new indictments were suspicious, invoking when former FBI Director James Comey said the agency would be looking into then-candidate Hillary Clinton's email server use shortly before the election.
"The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office charged Jussie Smollett with multiple counts, and today the Special Prosecutor did the same. What’s questionable here is the James Comey-like timing of that charging decision, just 35 days before an election, which can only be interpreted as the further politicization of the justice system, something voters in the era of Donald Trump should consider offensive," the Foxx campaign said, according CBS Chicago.
Foxx's Democratic rivals have pounced on the new indictments.
"Now we know why Kim Foxx has refused to talk about the case. The Special Prosecutor’s decision is evidence that she was unlawfully influenced by calls from influential politicians and celebrities when she dismissed 16 felony counts against Jussie Smollett," candidate Donna More said in a statement. "This can no longer be considered just an error in judgment or a disappointing lack of transparency. There may be significant wrongdoing on the part of the State’s Attorney."
Former alderman Bob Fioretti called for Foxx to resign from office because her handling of the Smollett's case is just "the tip of the iceberg" of problems in her office.
"The reasons Kim Foxx should resign are many. It is a race between corruption, incompetence and personal dishonesty to decide which is worse in her office," Fioretti said.