We now know why Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself from the Jussie Smollett case. A senior Obama administration official contacted the prosecutor and the investigation of alleged attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett was turned over to the FBI.
After being contacted by a Chicago attorney who served as former first lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, the top prosecutor in Cook County asked the city’s top cop to turn over the Jussie Smollett probe to the FBI, according to reports.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx reached out to Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson after Tina Tchen, the former senior Obama official, emailed the prosecutor saying the “Empire” actor’s family had “concerns” about the probe, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Tchen passed Foxx’s number to a family member of Smollett, and the ensuing conversations with the relative were later cited by the prosecutor as the reason she recused herself from the probe, according to the paper, which obtained messages from Foxx in response to a public records request.
Text messages show Tchen contacted Foxx on Feb. 1, three days after Smollett reported that he was attacked by two masked men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him and put his neck in a noose.
Tchen, a close friend of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s wife, sent a text message to Foxx to set up an early morning phone call, according to the newspaper.
“I wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know. They have concerns about the investigation,” texted Tchen, who sought to set up a call with Foxx before flying out to New York at 8 a.m.
The text messages show Foxx told both Tchen and Smollett’s relative that Foxx had reached out to Johnson about handing the probe to the feds.
“Spoke to the Superintendent Johnson,” Foxx emailed Tchen the same day. “I convinced him to Reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation. He is reaching out now and will get to me shortly.”