After being contacted by a former senior Obama administration official, the Chicago-area’s top prosecutor last month requested that the city police turn over their investigation of an alleged attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett to the FBI, according to texts and emails released by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Tina Tchen, who worked as former first lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff during her time in the White House, first contacted Kim Foxx by text on Feb. 1 and said the actor’s family had “concerns” about the investigation, according to the communications. Tchen, a Chicago-based attorney, is also the co-founder of the Times Up Legal Defense Fund.
At the time of the correspondence, Smollett was still considered by police to be the victim of an assault. The actor was later charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false report for allegedly staging an attack to make him look like the victim of a brutal hate crime.
“Spoke to the Superintendent Johnson,” Foxx emailed Tchen on Feb. 1, referring to the city’s top cop, Eddie Johnson. “I convinced him to Reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation.
Foxx also texted with one of Smollett’s relatives, whose name was redacted in copies of the communication released by her office.
“Spoke to the superintendent earlier, he made the ask,” Foxx wrote. “Trying to figure out logistics. I’ll keep you posted.”
The relative responded, “Omg this would be a huge victory.”
“I make no guarantees, but I’m trying,” Foxx replied back.
Foxx recused herself from the investigation before Smollett was charged. Her first deputy, Joe Magats, is overseeing the case.
Foxx said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times that Smollett’s family was concerned that aspects of the police investigation were being leaked to media.
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