Cook County prosecutor suggested Smollett probe go to FBI

March 13, 2019
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"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, center, arrives at Leighton Criminal Court Building for a hearing to discuss whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during his disorderly conduct case on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. A grand jury indicted Smollett last week on 16 felony counts accusing him of lying to the police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack by two masked men in downtown Chicago.(AP Photo/Matt Marton)

CHICAGO (AP) — Records show Cook County’s top prosecutor asked Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to let the FBI investigate the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett before the actor was charged with lying to authorities.

Email and text messages given to the Chicago Sun-Times by State’s Attorney Kim Foxx show she made the effort after former first lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff Tina Tchen contacted Foxx to set up a telephone conversation with a Smollett relative.

The ensuing conversations were cited by Foxx in recusing herself from Smollett’s prosecution.

Foxx tells the Sun-Times the relative expressed concerns over leaked information that media outlets attributed to “police sources.”

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the FBI was involved from the start but there was never talk of turning the case over.

Smollett is accused of lying to the police about the Jan. 29 attack.


Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://chicago.suntimes.com/

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