Did Michelle Obama's Chief of Staff Help Prop Up the Jussie Smollett Hate Hoax?
Last week, the president of the Chicago police union asked the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx interfered in the police investigation of Empire star Jussie Smollett. Further reporting suggested Foxx may have interfered after receiving a text from Tina Tchen, former chief of staff for former first lady Michelle Obama.
"It seems a totally inappropriate thing to do, to ask a prosecutor to get involved in a case that early on," Martin Preib, second vice president at the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), told PJ Media on Friday. Tchen urged Foxx to bring the FBI into the case on February 1, three days after Smollett claimed to have been attacked in a racist hate crime.
Even at that time, police suspected the actor's story did not add up, Prieb said. "I would say that there seemed to be a general sense early on that there were gaping holes in this narrative," he told PJ Media.
Smollett was eventually charged with 16 felony counts after reporting a hate crime hoax.
Foxx had recused herself from the case, but Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President Kevin Graham demanded an investigation last week.
Graham sent a letter to U.S. Attorney John Lausch, asking for an investigation into Foxx's interference in the Smollett case and her role in several exonerations of convicted killers.
"Such conduct merits a review by your office. Private attorneys are not allowed to interfere with ongoing police investigations, particularly at the request of private individuals associated with subjects being investigated by the police, in this case, a subject later determined to be the offender, not the victim," Graham said in the letter.
"According to the media reports on public documents, one of Smollett’s relatives was communicating with Ms. Foxx about her request to transfer the case to the FBI," he added. "Ms. Foxx ultimately recused herself from this case as a prosecutor based on those communications with relatives of Jussie Smollett. That recusal is wholly insufficient. 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."
Police union representatives have condemned Foxx's release of several convicted killers during her administration, claiming that these releases benefit law firms that supported her election campaign.
One particularly egregious example involved the vacating of two felony convictions of high-ranking Spanish Cobra gang member Ricardo Rodriguez in February. Eliminating the 20-year-old convictions paves the way for Rodriguez to avoid deportation and remain in the country, FOP representatives argued.
For his part, Prieb insisted that Foxx would not have won her election to be a state's attorney without funding from George Soros. "I would say that it's very troubling that she got financial campaign support from George Soros and that seemed to be a key part in her winning the election," he told PJ Media.
When it comes to Smollett, members of his family reportedly reached out to Foxx early in the case, asking her to get federal authorities involved (the FBI did join the case).
As for Tchen, she texted Foxx on February 1, three days after Smollett reported the attack and when he was still considered a victim, the New York Post's Lia Eustachewich reported.
"I wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know. They have concerns about the investigation," Tchen wrote to Foxx.
Foxx emailed Tchen later the same day. "Spoke to Superintendent Johnson," she wrote. "I convinced him to Reach [sic] out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation. He is reaching out now and will get to me shortly."
In addition to being Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, Tchen is a close friend of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's wife, the Post reported.
This week, the embattled Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced that Tchen would lead the investigation into its internal culture, after the organization fired co-founder Morris Dees. The SPLC is notorious for inflating the number of "hate groups" in the United States.
Tchen may not have known that the Jussie Smollett case was a hoax at the time — even though the alleged attack took place in the freezing cold and Smollett decided not to remove the noose around his neck until he was already in the hospital, which is not the action of a traumatized hate crime victim.
Even so, it seems suspect that the SPLC would choose a woman with this background for their internal investigation. Not only is Tchen very liberal, she also got involved in the Jussie Smollett hate hoax.
Prieb also remarked that the Obama administration unjustly targeted the Chicago Police Department. "We are very bitter about the way we were treated by the Department of Justice under Obama. It was an example of Obama's weaponization of the Department of Justice. The fact that they rushed to finish it because Trump got into office should tell you all you need to know," he said.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.