Ex-Michelle Obama aide pressed prosecutor to give Smollett probe to FBI: report
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The top prosecutor in Cook County, Ill., suggested Chicago police turn over their investigation into an alleged attack on actor Jussie Smollett to the FBI at the urging of a former aide to former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama to headline Essence Festival Obama shares tribute to Michelle to celebrate Mother's Day 111-year-old woman gets free tickets to see Michelle Obama book tour MORE, USA Today reported Thursday.

The newspaper obtained texts and emails from the office of Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx that showed former Obama aide Tina Tchen contacted the prosecutor to say Smollett's family had "concerns" about the police investigation.


Foxx emailed back to Tchen saying she had spoken to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and "convinced him to Reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation," USA Today reported.

Anthony Guglielmi, the police department's chief spokesman, told the newspaper that Foxx had conveyed the request to Johnson, but that the bureau never took over.

Tchen did not respond to a request for comment from USA Today.

Smollett, who is black and gay, told Chicago police last month that two men beat him, tied a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him. He said one of his attackers shouted "This is MAGA country," a reference to President Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.

Smollett surrendered to authorities weeks later after he was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. Police said in a press conference that the "Empire" actor staged the attack because he was "dissatisfied with his salary."

He was eventually charged with 16 counts in connection with the incident.