“From top to bottom, this is not on the level.”
That’s what Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared during a fiery press conference Tuesday afternoon where he scolded former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett for getting away scot-free with his alleged hate crime hoax and condemned the prosecutor’s office for dropping all 16 felony charges against him.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office made it clear that they’re not saying Smollett is innocent and don’t see a problem with the charges against him. But they think him volunteering to do community service and letting the city keep the $10,000 he put up for the bond is enough of a punishment, apparently.
“It is not on the level from beginning to end, and there needs to be a level of accountability throughout the system,” Emanuel said about the prosecutor’s office’s decision. “This sends an unambiguous message that there is no accountability, and that is wrong.”
Asked by reporters if he thought the State’s Attorney’s decision was politically motivated, Emanuel replied, “It’s something you have to ask them because only they can answer their motivation. I can only guess at it.”
Reporters and observers have been bringing up peculiarities and suspicious goings-on with the State’s Attorney’s Office decision. Some of it centers around Democratic political and State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who recused herself from the Smollett case but still had someone in her office who reports to her handle the case, according to ABC 7.
The Chicago police union objected to that earlier in March, sending the Justice Department a complaint letter.
"That recusal is wholly insufficient,” Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham said at the time. “In order for Ms. Foxx to properly charge and try this case, her entire office should have recused itself and a special prosecutor been appointed.”
Foxx was contacted by a relative of Smollett and Tina Tchen, who happens to be a former aide of former first lady Michelle Obama, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Foxx said that conversation with Tchen, which involved a discussion about the case, led to her decision to recuse herself.
The Fraternal Order of Police renewed its call for an investigation into Foxx late Tuesday afternoon.
“The conduct of her office from the very beginning of this case was highly, highly suspicious,” second vice president, Martin Preib told the Sun-Times. “The entire country is outraged by it. The evidence is overwhelming that he was legitimately charged in this case. This decision [to drop the charges] appears to be utterly arbitrary, capricious and suspicious.”
Suspicion about the prosecutor’s office’s move and its possible political connections are abounding.
“The State’s attorney’s office is saying the decision to drop the charges against #JussieSmollett did not come from Kim Foxx as she recused herself. No one that’s close to the case that I’ve talked to outside of #Smollett’s legal team believes that,” wrote Fox 32 Chicago reporter Rafer Weigel on Tuesday.
Breitbart pointed out that Billionaire liberal donor George Soros donated around $408,000 to the super PAC that supported Foxx’ campaign to become the Cook County state’s attorney.
Foxx also considers progressive Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris a close mentor. Interestingly enough, Harris has marched with Smollett in the past.
Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clark weighed in as well.
Watch the full press conference with Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson below (skip ahead to the 1 hour, 5-minute mark):