Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx subpoenaed to appear in court over dropping of charges against Jussie Smollett
The case is being reviewed by Justice Sheila O'Brien, who has petitioned for a special prosecutor to look into the handling of the case, which she said was “plagued with irregularity.”
Following the dropping of 16 felony charges in 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett's case, Chicago's top prosecutor Kim Foxx has been subpoenaed by retired appellate judge Sheila O'Brien. O'Brien has also subpoenaed Foxx's top deputy Joseph Magats and has requested that Smollett also make an appearance at the hearing.
Foxx, who had recused herself during the case, is now being reviewed by O’Brien who has petitioned for a special prosecutor to look into the handling of the case, which she said was “plagued with irregularity.”
Foxx and her deputy have been under scrutiny since March after the prosecutor's office decided to drop the charges against Smollett who was facing 16 felony disorderly conduct charges for allegedly filing a false police report.
Smollett was facing these charges after allegedly staging an anti-gay, racist attack on himself in downtown Chicago in January.
In the alleged attack on January 29, Smollett claimed that two masked men attacked him, threw a noose around his neck, and called him racist and homophobic slurs. These two men were later identified to be Abimbola 'Abel' and Olabinjo 'Ola' Osundairo and later reports emerged suggesting the actor might have staged the attack to save his job with help from the two Nigerian brothers that he reportedly knew as extras on 'Empire'.
After he was charged with staging hate crime, Smollett was written out of the final two 'Empire' episodes.
O'Brien has requested that the three produce the original documents used in Smollett's criminal case to 'assure' the public "that they have not been altered or destroyed and will not be destroyed throughout this case", according to court documents.
Regarding Foxx's conflict beyond dispute, O'Brien wrote in court documents that Foxx should have appointed a special prosecutor also adding that "instead, Foxx misled the public into believing that Smollett’s case was handled like any other prosecution and without influence."
In the Smollett case, Foxx recused herself after it emerged she exchanged text messages with a member of his family in the days after the incident.
She then elected first assistant state's attorney Joe Magats to serve as acting state's attorney for the case. Weeks after that, the 16 grand jury charges against Smollett were suddenly dropped; emails and texts have been released showing Foxx meddled in the case including by sending texts to Magats to lower the charges against Smollett.
Foxx's office is also undergoing an independent inspector-general investigation. Since the scandal, three members of Foxx's team - including her chief ethics officer and chief spokesman - have left the office. Foxx, on the other hand, defended her decision to drop the charges and has welcomed the independent investigation.