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    Virginia Kruta, Associated Editor 


    Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff released a statement Wednesday regarding her communications with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx about the Jussie Smollett case.

    Tina Tchen, who served as chief of staff to then-first lady Michelle Obama, claimed that she had simply reached out to the prosecutor because Smollett’s family had some concerns about the investigation.

    But Tchen’s involvement may have led to Foxx ultimately recusing herself from the case.

    Tchen first texted Foxx on the morning of Feb. 1, 2019. “I wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know. They have concerns about the investigation,” the text read.

    But then Foxx got a text later that same day from one of Smollett’s family members who, according to Foxx, expressed concern that details about the case were leaking to the general public.

    Foxx then emailed Tchen, saying that she had spoken to Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson about turning the investigation over to the FBI, mainly to keep a tighter lid on details that continued to leak as the investigation progressed.

    Spoke to [Chicago Police] Superintendent [Eddie] Johnson. I convinced him to reach out to the FBI to ask that they take over the investigation. He is reaching out now and will get to me shortly.

    Foxx recused herself in the weeks that followed because of continued communication with Smollett’s family. As the Chicago Police Department continued its investigation and uncovered more evidence, it became apparent that the police believed Smollett’s alleged hate crime was a hoax, likely organized by the “Empire” actor himself. (RELATED: Third Osundairo Brother Speaks Out On Smollett Case)

    In spite of that evidence, all charges against Smollett were dropped Tuesday. While authorities were careful to say that he was “not exonerated,” and several high-profile figuresspoke out about the injustice of the situation, Smollett has continued to proclaim his innocence.

    In exchange for the dropped charges, the actor forfeited his $10,000 bond and agreed to do community service.

    Tina Tchen, Official White House Portrait


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