Left-wing billionaire mega-donor George Soros donated $408,000 in 2016 to a super PAC that supported Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, whose office prosecuted — and dropped — the Jussie Smollett case.
In a shock announcement Tuesday, prosecutors dropped all 16 felony charges against the left-wing Hollywood actor, whom police had accused of faking a hate crime in January that he blamed on racist, homophobic white Trump supporters.
Foxx had formally recused herself from the case in February because she had spoken with Smollett’s family. (Update: Prosecutors said Wednesday that Foxx never formally recused herself.) The Chicago Tribune later reported that Foxx had asked police to turn the case over to the FBI after an intervention by Tina Tchen, a former chief of staff for former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Soros has spent heavily on backing “progressive” candidates for local prosecutorial offices across the nation, following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014, which alleged that black defendants have been treated unfairly by the justice system.
Foxx ran in 2016 against incumbent Anita Alvarez, who faced intense public controversy over the 2014 murder of a black teenager, LaQuan McDonald, by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke.
Foxx ran on a platform of criminal justice reform, telling local ABC News affiliate WLS-7 that she wanted to focus on “restoring faith in our criminal justice system” and “bridging the divide between the community and law enforcement.”
As chicagoist.com reported in 2016, Alvarez received donations from the “old-boy” network, but Foxx found other donors, including Soros:
But Kim Foxx has also found two other sources of cash, in the form of twin $300,000 donations to a Super PAC supporting her called Illinois Safety & Justice. The sole donors to the PAC are neoliberal superdonor and conservative-boogeyman George Soros and a “dark-money” group called Civic Participation Action Fund. A Super PAC is a fundraising group, created by the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United decision, that can raise as much money as they want for any candidate or cause—as long as they don’t coordinate on any level with political campaigns, which have much smaller campaign limits.
State campaign finance records show that Soros personally contributed a total of $333,000 to Foxx’s super PAC before the March 15, 2016 primary was over, and an additional $75,000 after she won.
Foxx defeated Alvarez in the primary, and won easily in the fall.