Robert Hampton, American Renaissance, May 1, 2019
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was subpoenaed last Friday over the Jussie Smollett hate hoax. Retired appellate judge Sheila O’Brien ordered Miss Foxx to appear before her as part of the judge’s petition to have a special prosecutor appointed to investigate why Miss Foxx’s office dropped charges against Mr. Smollett, a black actor on the TV show Empire.
“Foxx’s conflict in this matter is beyond dispute,” Judge O’Brien wrote. “Instead, Foxx misled the public into believing that Smollett’s case was handled like any other prosecution and without influence.”
Mr. Smollett and First Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Joseph Magats were also ordered to appear before Judge O’Brien and explain themselves. This is the latest setback for Miss Foxx, a self-proclaimed “progressive prosecutor” and the first black woman to serve as Chicago’s top prosecutor. She manages 800 lawyers and 1,500 employees.
Miss Foxx drew immediate suspicion after she dropped charges against Mr. Smollett in March. The black actor faced a 16-count indictment for staging a hate crime against himself. He claimed two white Donald Trump supporters attacked him on a cold January night, but it turned out the two assailants were Nigerian brothers paid by the actor. The case grabbed national attention and showed the mainstream media’s willingness to believe dubious hate crime charges.
After the attack was shown to be a hoax, Chicago police wanted Mr. Smollett punished for the time they put into the case, but the actor walked away with only a small fine and a few hours of community service. The state attorney’s office said that was punishment enough; police were furious.
When the case was first being investigated, Tina Tchen, a close associate of former First Lady Michelle Obama, contacted Miss Foxx, asking that the Smollett case be turned over to the FBI. Miss Tchen said she was acting on behalf of the Smollett family, who were not satisfied with the job the police were doing. Miss Foxx tried to convince the police to back out of the case—they refused—and this is why she “recused” herself.
There is mounting evidence that Miss Foxx acted inappropriately. She claimed to have recused herself but she stayed involved. “Although we used the term ‘recuse’ as it relates to State’s Attorney Foxx’s involvement in this matter, it was a colloquial use of the term rather than in its legal sense,” her office claimed. Text messages showed she carefully followed the prosecution and thought Mr. Smollett was over-charged.
Miss Foxx has responded to criticism: “I think we have to ask ourselves what is this really about?” she asked at a press conference with Jesse Jackson. “As someone who has lived in this city, who came up from the projects of this city, to serve as the first African-American woman in this role, it is disheartening to me, and to the women and men for whom I represent . . . when we get in these positions, that somehow goalposts change.” In other words: it’s racism.
At the same press conference, Ja’Mal Green, a 23-year-old former candidate for Chicago mayor, attacked the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which had criticized Miss Foxx: “We have all white men FOP, getting up looking like the Blue Klux Klan.” Miss Foxx also claims “white nationalists” are among her critics, and this makes her “afraid.”
Police think Miss Foxx is easy on crime. “Our frustration with the state’s attorney’s office didn’t start with Jussie Smollett,” Kevin Graham, the president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, told The New Yorker. “Look, if you have laws on the books, and if you’re not arresting people and you don’t prosecute them, and nobody goes to jail, people have the idea that the laws don’t mean anything.”
Miss Foxx was elected to office in 2016 as a staunch progressive who would calm black outrage over the Laquan McDonald shooting. She won the endorsement of George Soros, who donated $408,000 to her campaign. In her first days in office, Miss Foxx downgraded all thefts under $1000 to a misdemeanor. Illinois Merchant Retail Association president Rob Karr said the move was “tantamount to declaring open season on retail stores.”
Cook County now releases “non-violent” criminals who can’t afford bail of up to $1,000. Miss Foxx supports the legalization of marijuana and plans to expunge all convictions. Her office no longer prosecutes anyone who drive on licenses suspended for financial reasons. She has also overturned convictions that were reportedly tied to corrupt cops.
The New York Times and other major outlets praised all this, of course, and the New Yorker is worried the Smollett case “threatens” Miss Foxx’s “reforms.” The prosecutor says she wants to clear the decks so police can put down serious crime—she even claimed that was why she let Mr. Smollett off—but she doesn’t have much to show for her “reforms.”
Robberies, particularly car theft, have risen since Miss Foxx took office. Carjackings are now common in downtown Chicago. Since 2012, the city has led the nation in total murders and it sits at number 14 for murders per capita among large cities. Chicago had more murders in 2018 than Los Angeles and New York City combined. The warmer months are particularly brisk; the first weekend in April saw 33 shootings and six murders.
Some believe that bad relations between Miss Foxx’s office and the police will make it harder to control crime. And any Chicagoan charged with making a false police report can now point to Mr. Smollett and demand the same treatment.
Miss Foxx is not alone. Mr. Soros backed 11 other progressive DA candidates in 2016, ten of whom won. Soros aid can make the difference. Anita Alvarez, the previous Cook County state’s attorney, blamed him for her defeat.
Other Soros-backed prosecutors include Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner, St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell, and Suffolk County (Massachusetts) DA Rachael Rollins. Most are non-white. Mr. Krasner—a white exception—pocketed nearly $2 million in contributions from Mr. Soros. In his first months in office, Mr. Krasner fired 31 prosecutors and showed indifference to crime victims.
“Progressive” prosecutors coddle criminals and non-whites. Most of them supported Black Lives Matter and other non-white activist groups before they took office. Now they have the power to do what those groups demand. That’s the way Mr. Soros likes it.