The Jussie Smollett scandal, which stems from allegations that the actor lied about an alleged hate crime committed against him in January, has impacted Empire’s co-creator and director Lee Daniels, as The Inquisitr reported, and caused backlash from people that believe he has harmed political discourse around real hate crimes.
Now, NBC News reports that Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael Toomin ruled that a special prosecutor investigate Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx’s handling of the Smollett case to uncover why his allegedly false police report did not lead to charges. Not only that, the judge ruled that the actor be re-examined for possible criminal charges.
“The unprecedented irregularities identified in this case warrants the appointment of independent counsel to restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system,” Toomin wrote. He added that an independent prosecutor should look at “all aspects of the case” and “if reasonable grounds exist to further prosecute Smollett, in the interest of justice, the special prosecutor may take such action as may be appropriate.”
The Daily Wire reports that Anthony Guglielmi, Chief Communications Officer for the Chicago Police Department, supported the decision of Toomin, and claims that the Chicago Police Department will cooperate fully with the court-appointed special prosecutor.
Although Smollett was initially charged with felony disorderly conduct on February 20 for the alleged false report he filed with Chicago police and indicted on March 8, prosecutors dropped all charges on March 26 — a move that angered the public, police, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
A special prosecutor will review the Jussie Smollett case, after a judge in Chicago said that Kim Foxx, the Cook County state’s attorney, mishandled her recusal from the investigation https://t.co/orypH3K37I— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 21, 2019
As The Inquisitr previously reported, documents released earlier this month reveal that prosecutors involved with the case struggled to explain to the public why the Empire actor’s charges were dropped. Foxx released more than 2,000 pages of documents related to the case, and they appear to support the need for a re-examination of her handling of the case.
Although Foxx has offered many different explanations as to why she recused herself from the Smollett case, documents show that she struggled over the decision. But the final explanation appears to be the “false rumors” that swirled around the case.
“False rumors circulated that I was related or somehow connected to the Smollett family, so I removed myself from all aspects of the investigation and prosecution… so as to avoid even the perception of a conflict,” Foxx said.
With the new focus on the case, the special prosecutor may decide to charge Smollett, and could even charge him for additional crimes if they have reasonable grounds to believe that he committed any others.