Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who is facing a stiff re-election battle from opponents critical of her handling of the Jussie Smollett case, has been endorsed by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
“When Cook County first elected Kim Foxx to the State’s Attorney office, it not only gained a seasoned advocate but a champion invested in rethinking the county’s approach to criminal justice reform,” Warren said in a statement, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Kim is an effective public servant who leads with compassion, and I’m confident that when reelected, Kim Foxx will continue to bring those qualities to the office.”
Foxx issued a statement of her own saying Warren’s endorsement is proof she should be re-elected.
“We know our working communities stand to lose the most when exposed to a broken criminal justice system,” Foxx said.
“Our reform on bond, conviction integrity and cannabis have undoubtedly helped bring more equitable justice to these communities. Having Sen. Warren’s endorsement is a testament to the work we’ve only just started on here in Cook County,” she added.
Warren’s support for Foxx turned some heads on social media:
Elizabeth Warren backs Kim Foxx, calls prosecutor ‘a champion … who leads with compassion’ https://t.co/tweVg0TX2T. @SenWarren No offense Ms Warren but YOU CANT BE SERIOUS ENDORSING FOXX!!!! Do more homework please!!
— debbie (@debbie58992477) January 28, 2020
Elizabeth Warren backs Kim Foxx, calls prosecutor ‘a champion … who leads with compassion’ https://t.co/23866BPcq6
— Pat O’Brien (@OBrienforSA) January 28, 2020
Is Warren trying to lose? Yesterday she endorsed Kim Foxx, the prosecutor who dropped the charges against Jussie Smollett. She has worst political instincts I’ve ever seen and a campaign filled with former Hillary/Kamala staffers. Her whole campaign is a dumpster fire. pic.twitter.com/Rc5XwBr82U
— GearFox🌹 (@GearFox1) January 29, 2020
Although Foxx pointed to other issues, her rivals in the Democratic primary, which is set for March, have focused on the Smollett case.
Late last January, Smollett, a gay and black actor, claimed he was attacked in a racist and homophobic crime that he linked to President Donald Trump by alleging the attackers, who he said put a noose around his neck, shouted, “This is MAGA country!”
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The story eventually unraveled, and Smollett was charged with filing a false report in a case that shook Chicago.
The criminal case against Smollett ended when Foxx’s office dropped the charges against Smollett in exchange for community service and forfeiture of his $10,000 bond.
Foxx had recused herself from the matter, but the investigation went through her office, eventually leading to a follow-up investigation into what really went on during the time that her office was looking into the Smollett case.
Foxx’s conduct was criticized by her rivals.
“This case got special treatment because of who he was and who he was connected to,” Donna More, a former prosecutor, told the Chicago Tribune.
“As state’s attorney, you are judged by how you handle the big cases, whether they be violent or not. If you blow a big case, the public questions your judgment,” she said. “It’s hard to believe we have a sitting state’s attorney that herself is under investigation.”
Foxx said her office”dropped the ball” when it came to communication.
“We have a standard of transparency that our office would love to hold itself to that we fell short of,” she said. “The results, the outcome of that case left many people not understanding why … which then questions the legitimacy of the outcome.”
“Where we dropped the ball is not being able to explain to people what we were doing, how we were doing it and why we were doing it.”
Her opponents did not buy that.
“What upsets me most is the unequal justice,” former Assistant State’s Attorney Bill Conway told the Tribune.
“A phone call helped make the investigation,” former Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti said.
“When we look at it, Jussie Smollett was treated differently — everybody can admit that. When she said it was a high-visibility case, who made it a high-visibility case? Jussie Smollett went on television talking about the attack.”
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