Judge close to naming special prosecutor in Smollett case

24 Août, 2019, 20:16 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Judge close to naming special prosecutor in Smollett case

CHICAGO- Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx has promised to cooperate with a newly appointed special prosecutor looking into why her office abruptly dropped charges against actor Jussie Smollett that accused him of staging a racist, anti-gay attack against himself.

Webb's investigation could bring fresh charges against Smollett and charges against anyone else who is believed to have committed a crime during the incident and investigation, the Tribune reported, citing Toomin's ruling in June.

Cook County Judge Michael Toomin on Friday named former U.S. Attorney Dan K. Webb as special prosecutor. Such probes typically include impaneling a special grand jury, issuing subpoenas, taking witness statements and a final report. "The facts will take me where they take me".

"I understand this case is important".

Former US Attorney Dan Webb in Chicago, January 31, 2013.

Smollett was originally charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct in February for allegedly orchestrating an incident in January in which he paid a pair of masked men to attack him on a Chicago street, place a noose around his neck, and shout racist and homophobic epithets at him.

Prosecutors dropped the charges in March and the evidentiary files were sealed.

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As US attorney in Chicago in the 1980s, he led the prosecution of several dozen corrupt Cook County judges, lawyers and police officers. Webb will serve as special prosecutor in the Jussie Smollett case. That could include recommending Smollett be re-charged. Judge Toomin has made that very clear to me. The judge was required by law to first see if the state attorney general, the appellate prosecutor or a state attorney from elsewhere in IL wanted the job.

Mr Webb told reporters after Friday's hearing that he was heading into the investigation with no preconceived notions about an outcome.

"I might say that the responses were less than enthusiastic, as you might expect", Toomin told the courtroom.

Toomin ruled back in June the case was rife with "unprecedented irregularities" and needed a special prosecutor to restore the public's faith in the justice system.

A Smollett spokeswoman declined to comment Friday. He said his assailants, at least one of whom he said was white, told him he was in "MAGA country" - a reference to US President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again".

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson brutally took Smollett to task after his arrest, saying the actor "took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career". Foxx's communication with Michelle Obama's former chief of staff might also be reexamined.

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