Former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett may not get off scot-free after all.
A Cook County judge has decided that special prosecutor should be assigned to the case involving his alleged hate crime hoax against President Trump and his supporters, CBS Chicago reported.
Judge Michael Toomin ruled that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx did follow the law in recusing herself from the case, but because she recused herself, she shouldn’t have been able to appoint one of her own people to handle it for her, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In other words, he’s saying things weren’t handled correctly. Foxx even backtracked on her claim that she had recused herself after indications arose that she was still very much involved in the case and her top deputy’s decision to drop 16 felony charges against Smollett and let him go free despite the Chicago Police saying they had a mountain of evidence against him.
Toomin ruled that Foxx acted improperly in assigning Joe Magats to oversee the case because she created a position for him that didn’t legally exist. Magats even admitted that he “saw no problems with the police investigation or the evidence against Smollett,” yet stood by his — or Foxx’ — astounding decision to drop the charges.
Then the judge dropped the real bombshell. Smollett may still get prosecuted.
“If reasonable grounds exist to further prosecute Smollett, in the interest of justice the Special Prosecutor may take such action as may be appropriate to effectuate that result,” Toomin said, adding that the special prosecutor “may commence the prosecution of any crime as may be suspected.”
Former judge Sheila O’Brien, who pushed for the appointment of a special prosecutor, said the decision by Foxx’ office to set Smollett free created “a perception that justice was not served here, that Mr. Smollett received special treatment.”
Smollett still claims he was attacked in Chicago in January by two white Trump supporters because he’s an openly gay, black Trump critic. Two of his friends, the Nigerian Osundairo brothers, told the Chicago Police that they were the ones who attacked Smollett as part of a political hoax he set up.
The Chicago Police were overjoyed with the news of the special prosecutor.
“We stand firmly behind the work of detectives in investigating the fabricated incident reported by Jussie Smollett & #ChicagoPolice will fully cooperate with the court-appointed special prosecutor,” tweeted CPD’s chief communications officer Anthony Guglielmi.