A new chapter has opened in the Jussie Smollett saga, as a Chicago judge appoints one of the most prominent attorneys in the city to investigate the state prosecutor’s office handling of the controversial case.
In June, Cook County Judge Michael Toomin ruled that a special prosecutor would be appointed to examine the decision of Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx’s office to drop all charges against Smollett, who was accused of faking a racist, anti-gay hate crime, and later indicted on 16 counts of lying to authorities.
Friday, Judge Toomin tapped former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb to look into the decision to dismiss the charges, and the judge raised the possibility that Webb could pursue new charges against the former “Empire” actor. After he was sworn in by Judge Toomin, Webb spoke to reporters at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.
“This case is important. Judge Toomin has made that very clear to me. He thinks the public’s confidence in criminal justice has been affected and I intend to move very quickly,” said Webb.
Former Illinois appellate judge, Sheila O’Brien had petitioned for a special prosecutor leading to the Judge Toomin’s ruling on a special prosecutor in June. O’Brien also reacted to the appointment Friday, saying she hopes that Foxx’s office will cooperate with the new investigation.
“Everybody hopes that she and her staff will testify under oath if they are asked to. I hope she doesn’t take the 5th Amendment, and I hope none of her staff takes the 5th Amendment…We all hope we get to the truth — the whole truth — under oath,” O’Brien said.
In a statement Friday, Foxx said after Webb’s appointment that her office pledged its “full cooperation” with the probe, adding that “public trust is paramount.”
In Fox Nation’s The Fuhrman Diaries, former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman analyzed the Smollett saga from the first police reports to the eventual dismissal of charges. Fuhrman also discusses how he believes this case may have transformed from a police investigation into a political conspiracy.
“When you look at Kim Foxx, she recuses herself and then as the situation progresses and the dismissal occurs, obviously the police are beside themselves – they are so mad…they have picketed against the state attorney as they should,” Fuhrman said, adding, “[Smollett] is shameless at what he is doing, so is the prosecutor. This is total corruption, but why?