On Tuesday (March 26), prosecutors in Chicago decided to drop all outstanding charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett and wipe his record clean. The shocking decision sparked yet another national dialogue, with countless weighing in on the matter on social media, including President Donald Trump.
Cook County state attorney Kim Foxx came forward to defend the decision on Wednesday (March 27). As previously reported, Foxx recused herself prior to the actor being charged because she had discussed the case with a family member of the actor. After her recusal, the case was handed over to First Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Magats.
"I believe that the outcome — him having to forfeit the $10,000, having to do community service, based on the allegations, and again the (low level) felony and no (criminal) background, are an outcome that we could expect with this type of case," she shared with reporters.
Foxx also said that no one tried to intervene on the actor's behalf, despite emails showing that she had been contacted about the case by people close to Smollett.
"There was no attempt, whatsoever, to influence the outcome of this case," she said. "None whatsoever."
As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, email and texts records show that former first lady Michelle Obama's chief of staff Tina Tchen had contacted Foxx a few days after the reported assault to set up a conversation with a relative of Smollett's.
Per Foxx, the relative had expressed concerns over leaked information that media outlets had attributed to "police sources." This then led to Foxx calling Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to ask him to let the FBI take over the investigation. Such contact was named in Smollett's decision to recuse herself on Feb. 13, well before the actor was arrested and charged.
On Thursday (March 28), Donald Trump tweeted, "FBI and DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago." He then added, "it is an embarassment to our Nation!"