Amid reports that prosecutors reached a deal to drop all 16 criminal counts against actor Jussie Smollett, new evidence appears to show he had defenders actively working to clear his name early on in the process.
As CrimeOnline has previously reported, the one-time star of “Empire” had been written out of the season’s remaining episodes following accusations that he orchestrated a hate crime in Chicago, Illinois, earlier this year.
Leaked emails cited by TMZ show Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx received a number of pleas from multiple individuals.
Among those who penned letters allegedly requesting the prosecutor’s consideration on the matter was Tina Tchen, who previously served as chief of staff for Michelle Obama. She reportedly reached out to Foxx to cite “concerns” Smollett’s family had about the investigation.
Another individual who reportedly sent correspondences to Foxx with a similar tone was identified as a Smollett family member. The texts and emails reportedly predate the filing of charges in the case and Foxx subsequently recused herself from the case.
“Spoke to Superintendent Johnson,” the state’s attorney reportedly texted Tchen in one exchange. “I convinced him to Reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation. He is reaching out now and will get back to me shortly.”
When the suspect’s relative texted Foxx, she reportedly responded with a similar indication that federal authorities would be taking over the investigation.
“I make no guarantees, but I’m trying,” she wrote.
The family member said transferring the case to the FBI “would be a huge victory” for Smollett and his supporters.
Reports show Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police are pushing for an investigation of Foxx as it pertains to this investigation.
[Featured image: Jussie Smollett, AP Photo/Matt Marton]