Jussie Smollett Investigation Marked by ‘Substantial Abuses of Discretion,’ Special Prosecutor Says

However, special prosecutor found no criminal wrongdoing by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office or Chicago police

Actor Jussie Smollett Appears Outside Of Court After It Was Announced That All Charges Have Been Dropped Against Him
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Handling of the Jussie Smollett case by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Chicago Police Department was found to have had “substantial abuses of discretion and operational failures” but no criminal wrongdoing, special prosecutor Dan K. Webb concluded.

In a statement released Monday, Webb said the investigation “did not develop evidence that would support any criminal charges against State’s Attorney [Kimberly M.] Foxx or any individual working at the CCSAO,” despite multiple potential violations of legal ethics and several instances of “false and/or misleading” statements to the public.

Similarly, the investigation found “some examples” of CPD personnel leaking information to the press, but because the individuals could not be identified, no criminal charges were recommended.

Webb was appointed special prosecutor by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael P. Toomin last year, and was directed to “conduct an all-encompassing independent investigation” to determine whether further charges should be brought against Smollett and whether “any person or office involved in the Initial Smollett Case engaged in any wrongdoing.”

Monday’s statement, released by Webb’s law firm Winston & Strawn, outlined the conclusions of the investigation with regards to the second directive. Criminal charges against Smollett recommended by the special prosecutor’s office were filed back in February.

According to the statement, the special prosecutor’s investigation encompassed “53 interviews, issuing more than 50 subpoenas and/or document requests, and collecting more than 120,000 pages of documents (or, more than 26,000 documents), as well as text message data and audio recordings.”

Webb’s full 60-page report will be submitted to the court but is being withheld from public view under Illinois law regarding grand jury procedure. However, the statement recommended a court order to make the full summary report public, citing Judge Toomin’s statement ordering the investigation in which he said the goal was to “restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system.”

In response to Webb’s report, Smollett’s lawyer Mark Geragos issued the following statement:

“This so-called “report” on Kim Foxx and the timing of the recharging of Jussie reveals the real political electoral motivation of Dan Webb and his cohorts. It’s a blatant attempt to take down a black progressive female prosecutor who does not fit within the white power structure. Jussie, a black, gay man who maintains his innocence, continues to be used as a pawn. Today’s report confirms what the defense has said all along–there was no wrongdoing or undue influence by Jussie or the defense in the dismissal of all charges against him and the second wave of charges is a blatant constitutional violation.”


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