Cook county state’s attorney just recused herself from Jussie Smollett case. Now, there are more questions.

(Image: screenshot)

As Jussie Smollett’s alleged hate crime continues to be investigated by police, an Illinois district attorney just raised eyebrows by recusing herself from the case.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx added another bombshell to the ongoing investigation of the “Empire” actor’s claim that he was attacked in a racial and homophobic assault last month in Chicago.

As a grand jury convenes to investigate Smollett’s claims, a spokesperson for Foxx indicated that the recusal was due to “potential questions of impartiality” in the case,  FOX 32 Chicago reported. First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats is set to take over the case as acting state’s attorney.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case,” a spokesperson for Foxx said, according to FOX 32.

Foxx, the first African-American woman to hold the office she was elected to in 2016, gave no further reason for the decision, but it sparked much speculation on Twitter.

The announcement came as the Chicago Police Department dismissed a tip that Smollett was seen in an elevator in his apartment building the night of the alleged attack along with the two Nigerian brothers who were later arrested and released.

Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the Department, tweeted that the tip was “unfounded.”

Smollett alleged that on Jan. 29 he was attacked by two men who hurled racial and anti-gay slurs at him, put a rope around his neck and also poured a liquid on him while shouting, “This is MAGA country!” The actor’s claims unraveled as police investigations led them to arrest then release two Nigerian brothers who were at first deemed suspects but later considered to have been paid by the actor to stage the attack.

On Tuesday, the two men along with their attorney, Gloria Schmidt, appeared at the Cook County courthouse where they were “ushered in and out of the building in total secrecy,” according to FOX 32. Schmidt had no comment when asked about the case as she reportedly was seen leaving a room marked “Grand Jury.”

The men allegedly did not testify before the grand jury but were “cooperating” in an apparent effort “to build a case against Smollett,” the news outlet reported.

Smollett could face up to three years in prison if he is found guilty of filing a false police report, a felony in Illinois. He could also be facing federal charges if investigators in a separate probe find he had something to do with the hate letter that was sent to him at the “Empire” studios.

In a separate incident, court documents revealed that Smollett was convicted for DUI and providing a police officer with false information in Los Angeles in 2007, according to WLS-TV. With three misdemeanor charges, the actor was sentenced to two years of probation.

Smollett and his attorneys have denied that the alleged attack was staged.

“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” his attorneys, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, said in a statement last week.

Meanwhile, Foxx’s decision to recuse herself was another plot twist in the ongoing story which left many on social media with more questions than answers.


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