If one wonders why so many people in the country have such a low opinion of some of the bedrock institutions that are instrumental in fostering civil society, look no further than the case of Kim “The fix is in,” Foxx.
As the District Attorney responsible for bringing charges against Jussie Smollett for perpetrating a fraud on the justice system, Foxx originally recused herself, due to her having spoken with a Smollett family member as well as another politically connected attorney, with ties to Michelle Obama. Subsequent to her alleged “recusal”, her office dropped all charges against Smollett and somehow convinced a judge to seal the court records related to the case.
Foxx defended her actions, claiming that no one tried to intervene on Smollett’s behalf, despite emails showing that Foxx was contacted by people linked to Smollett about the case. This is lie number one.
“There was no attempt, whatsoever, to influence the outcome of this case,” she said. “None whatsoever.” Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, a lifelong Democrat, was outraged at the decision, telling reporters on Wednesday that, “Something is rotten in Denmark.” “It doesn’t add up,” Emanuel said.” Shortly after the charges were dismissed onTuesday, Emanuel called the outcome “a whitewash.”
One of police superintendent Eddie Johnson’s commanders, Ed Wodnicki, described the dropping of charges as “absolutely a punch in the gut.”
“We worked closely throughout our three-week investigation to get to the point where we arrested the o#ender,” he added. “For the state’s attorney at this point to dismiss charges without discussing this with us is just shocking.”
We now learn that Foxx, in fact, lied about her having been conflicted out of the case and that she did not recuse herself. Here is how Foxx’s office handled the spin on this falsehood, which could constitute sufficient grounds for disbarment, under the ethical canons of the profession,
“Although we use the term ‘recuse’ as it relates to State’s Attorney Foxx’s involvement in the matter, it was a colloquial use of the term rather in its legal sense.”
The only silver lining in this cloud is that the stench emanating from the Chicago prosecutor’s office is so putrid, that other attorneys and public officials are stepping in to investigate. The nation’s nonpartisan association of district attorneys, with commendable alacrity, eviscerated Foxx’s conduct and her glaring conflicts of interest in the case. The association stated,
“First, when a chief prosecutor recuses him or herself, the recusal must apply to the entire office, not just the elected or appointed prosecutor. This is consistent with best practices for prosecutors’ offices around the country…Second, prosecutors should not take advice from politically connected friends of the accused.”
How bad does this travesty smell? The FBI is now reviewing the circumstances surrounding why all the criminal charges were mysteriously dismissed and the record secretly sealed. The Chicago police department is putting together a bill for all the time and expense they incurred trying to find Smollett’s white Trump supporters wearing red MAGA hats.
One final note. In many cases, with the exception of Smollett’s, what matters to the public in terms of faith in the justice system, is not so much actual improprieties, but rather the appearance of impropriety, that casts a pall over the impartiality of the justice system.
If faith in the judicial system is ever to be restored, the Illinois State Bar Administrative office must begin disciplinary proceedings against Foxx forthwith for this farce perpetrated against the city of Chicago.
The question I posed in the article above appears to have resonated with the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association. We’ve all heard of the “Chicago Way”, an unflattering reference to the fact that the city is at the top of the list in terms of the most corrupt in the nation. But, even this naked travesty of justice perpetrated by a political hack district attorney proved too much even for the Windy City to bear. The Prosecutors Bar Association published a stinging indictment of Foxx and her supplicant staff in the Chicago State Attorney’s office,”The manner in which this case was dismissed was abnormal and unfamiliar to those who practice law in criminal courthouses across the State.”
That statement is a self-evident proposition to any first year law student. But, the real question is are there sufficient grounds for disbarment? I argued there are and the Association seems to agree based on her patently false misrepresentations concerning her recusal, “Even more problematic, the State’s Attorney and her representatives have fundamentally misled the public on the law and circumstances surrounding the dismissal.”