Kim Foxx lied to the public, abused power in exonerating Smollett, but faces no legal consequences
The special prosecutor appointed to review the conduct of state attorney Kim Foxx in letting Jussie Smollett off the hook for staging a fake hate crime to libel Trump-supporters has completed his work, and she, too is off the hook. Via The Patch:
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx made "false and misleading statements" about her office's prosecution of actor Jussie Smollet and engaged in "substantial abuses of discretion," but she didn't break the law, according to special prosecutor Dan Webb.
Last year, Smollett, the former "Empire" actor, was accused of staging a racist, homophobic attack on himself. He was indicted on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct that were dropped by Foxx's office.
Webb's investigation found the "process and decision-making" of Foxx's office related to Smollett's prosecution amounted to a "substantial abuse of discretion and represented a major failure of the operations."
The detailed statement released Monday also found:
· Foxx's office engaged in "substantial abuse of discretion and breached its obligations of honesty and transparency by making false and/or misleading statements to the public" about why the charges were dismissed.
· Foxx's office made false statements and misled the public by claiming the State's Attorney had legally recused herself from Smollett's prosecution.
· Foxx engaged in a substantial abuse of discretion and breached its obligations of honesty and transparency by making false and/or misleading statements to the public that she stopped communicating with Jurnee Smollett, Mr. Smollett's sister, after the actor had become a subject of the investigation.
Webb's summary report determined that Foxx's claim that her office's deferred prosecution of charges against Smollett were similar to more than 5,000 other cases wasn't true.
So she lied to the public and abused her powers, but it's not criminal.
Why, you might ask?
Because it's not a crime for a public official to lie to the public unless it's under oath, which it rarely is. In fact, they can lie to their colleagues and often do. They don't lie all the time. Only when they're awake.
But it is criminal in many cases for a member of the public to lie to public officials. It was the height of irony when Roger Clemens was prosecuted for lying to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Really. How can Congress complain about people lying to them when they lie to us 24-7?
The police can lie to suspects and often do. And prosecutors can use witnesses who are promised benefits to produce false evidence — i.e., lies. It's really amazing that with all the Trump associates the Mueller team prosecuted, none was willing to lie to support collusion in return for a lesser sentence.
Anyway, I'd like to see lying to the public made criminal. My first defendant in this fantasy would be Adam Schiff. Number two, Jerry Nadler. Number three, Nancy Pelosi. Any additions?