Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson welled up with outrage over the decision by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office to drop felony charges against TV actor Jussie Smollett, who had been facing trial for allegedly concocting a hate crime to benefit his career. Smollett’s penalty: two days of community service and forfeiture of the $10,000 in bond money he’d put up.

And then there was Smollett himself, hands shaking as he insisted he was innocent, that he really was a victim.

But in the first-day tumult, one voice wasn’t heard. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, step up. Try to explain the indefensible.

On Wednesday, Foxx tried to explain the indefensible, and failed. Instead she dug herself a deeper hole.

In essence, she said there’s public confusion about all this because the public just doesn’t understand the intricacies of the legal system.

“Every single day,” Foxx told WBEZ, “… there are people who get similar arrangements … people who get sentences that are probably not what some people would want. Every single day.” As if to say: “Trust us. You critics don’t understand.”

That doesn’t come close to explaining why Foxx’s office brought the case this far, then let a celebrity walk, even though his alleged crimes consumed thousands of police man-hours in a city pummeled by violent crime. Foxx may think she has calmed the storm, but she hasn’t.

Three urgent questions remain for the state’s attorney:

• First, do Chicagoans have the full story of Foxx’s conduct in this case? Foxx’s office disclosed that she’d had contact with Smollett’s representatives during the early stages of the investigation. That contact included an email from a politically connected lawyer acting on behalf of Smollett and his family. The Tribune has reported that the lawyer told Foxx the family had “concerns about the investigation” and wanted Superintendent Johnson to turn over the investigation to the FBI. Foxx asked Johnson to do exactly that, the Tribune reported. Johnson refused.

Foxx also had exchanged texts with a Smollett relative. Foxx’s office said that, “out of an abundance of caution … State’s Attorney Foxx decided to remove herself from the decision-making.” Is that everything there is to know about these communications between Foxx and Smollett’s allies?

• Second, what’s the rationale for cutting a secret deal without making Smollett reimburse the city for the costs his alleged actions inflicted on taxpayers? Without making him take responsibility for those alleged actions? To Chicagoans, to the rest of the country for that matter, it appears there was more to the decision to drop the charges and sandblast Smollett’s record than what Foxx’s office has disclosed so far.

• Third, why the sealed case file? Specifically, is there any linkage between the answers to the first two questions – between Foxx’s stumbles at the start of the case and her office’s decision to abandon it?

Sealing this file deprives Chicagoans of any insight into what may have led to this bizarre outcome. There occasionally are good reasons to expunge records and seal case files, but shielding prosecutors’ actions from public scrutiny isn’t one of them.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Police Department released its investigative file in the Smollett case. We appreciate that transparency, and if police have records of all their contacts with prosecutors in the early days of this case – including any efforts by Foxx or her prosecutors to influence the trajectory of the investigation – we hope CPD will release those records, too.

CPD’s actions should inspire Foxx to be just as transparent – now.

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