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Just days after Jussie Smollett told Chicago police he had fought off a pair of attackers who targeted him in an apparent hate crime, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx tried to convince Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to turn the investigation over to the FBI.
Foxx’s call to Johnson came after an influential supporter of the “Empire” actor reached out to Foxx personally: Tina Tchen, a Chicago attorney and former chief of staff for former First Lady Michelle Obama, according to emails and text messages provided by Foxx to the Chicago Sun-Times in response to a public records request.
Tchen - Foxx - Number - Relative - Actor
Tchen passed Foxx’s number to a relative of the actor, and the ensuing conversations with the family member were cited by Foxx last month as the reason she recused herself from Smollett’s prosecution as the actor faces disorderly conduct charges for allegedly making a false police report.
Text messages show Tchen contacted Foxx on Feb. 1, three days after Smollett said he was jumped by two men as he walked home from a sandwich shop near his Streeterville home. Tchen texted Foxx to set up an early morning phone call.
Call - Behalf - Jussie - Smollett - Family
“I wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know. They have concerns about the investigation,” Tchen wrote in a text sent before 5 a.m., seeking to set up a call with Foxx before Tchen left on an 8 a.m. flight to New York.
A few hours later, Foxx received a text from a relative of Smollett, who said she’d received the number from Tchen.
Interview - Sun-Times - Week - Foxx - Family
In an interview with the Sun-Times this week, Foxx said that the family member expressed concerns about leaked information about the investigation — information that media outlets attributed to “police sources.”
“They had no doubt about the quality of the investigation, but believed that the FBI...
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