Response to the Information Release from the Office of the Special Prosecutor

August 17, 2020

In response to the Information Release from the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) in the matter of Jussie Smollett, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office released the following  statement:

This report puts to rest any implications of outside influence or criminal activity on the part of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) and the Chicago Police Department (CPD). As the report unequivocally confirms, State's Attorney Foxx was not involved in the decision-making process regarding the Jussie Smollett case at any point and there was no outside influence on that process. 

The CCSAO categorically rejects the OSP’s characterizations of its exercises of prosecutorial discretion and private or public statements as “abuses of discretion” or false statements to the public.  While the release does not say so, any implication that statements made by the CCSAO were deliberately inaccurate is untrue. As a result of the issues addressed in the press release, and of discussions of them beforehand, the CCSAO has already made a number of changes to its operations, including the hiring of a new CCSAO ethics officer and more separation of their function from the administration of the office, and strengthening the recusal plan with clear guidelines and explicit definitions of conflicts of interest. 

When the CCSAO receives the final written report from Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, the CCSAO will provide a written response. Until that time, there will be no further statements on this matter.