There’s more political fallout related to the Jussie Smollett case after a special prosecutor announced a new six-count indictment against the “Empire” actor.
On Tuesday, the campaign of embattled Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx questioned the timing of the charges, calling them “James Comey-like.” Foxx, in the midst of a primary election battle to retain her job, said she believes it’s nothing but politics.
Foxx faces three candidates in the Democratic primary for Cook County state’s attorney. One of them is calling on her to resign, and all are saying Tuesday’s announcement is further evidence that voters should make a different choice on March 17.
Foxx attended a political event Wednesday evening without taking questions, but campaign spokesperson Chrystian Woods released the following statement:
“State’s Attorney Foxx’s record speaks for itself. Over the past three years, she has led the nation in criminal justice reform. One case does not define the historical progress her administration has ushered in by reforming the bail system, expunging over 1,000 low-level cannabis offenses, exonerating more than 80 wrongfully convicted people all while increasing public safety in Cook County”
Earlier Monday, Foxx said she is continuing to avail her office to the special prosecutor’s review.
But well-funded state’s attorney candidate Bill Conway says the new charges against Smollett illustrate what he sees as a dual track of justice in Foxx’s office – one for the privileged and one for everyone else.
“Every time that Ms. Foxx has said, ‘We treated him the same as everyone else,’ frankly, that was a lie,” Conway said.
“Justice has to be blind,” said Bob Fioretti, a former alderman and current state’s attorney candidate. “When someone is treated unequally under the law, then it destroys our faith in the criminal justice system.”
Former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb was appointed by Cook County Judge Michael Toomin to be a special prosecutor in the case after Foxx’s office dropped a 16-count indictment against the actor without much explanation.
Foxx initially said she welcomed the scrutiny from Webb, a onetime contributor to her campaign. Democratic state’s attorney candidate Donna More says Foxx has suddenly changed her tune on Webb.
“Now that the result that Jussie’s re-indicted, she doesn’t like the result, so she’s claiming politics,” More said. “It’s exactly what shouldn’t be done as state’s attorney.”
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