The Obamas’ White House legacy included promotion of abortion, an unstable health-care system and kowtowing to dictators big and small, right?
But there may be a new chapter, even after they’ve left office.
It’s because onetime Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen suddenly is casting a long shadow.
She’s been named as an instigator of a “whitewash,” as the Chicago mayor called it, of the case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. A grand jury accused him of faking an attack and accusing Trump-supported whites wearing MAGA hats of the crime.
Chicago prosecutors abruptly dropped the charges this week, although he still could face charges for allegedly sending himself a death threat through the U.S. mail.
Tchen, a Smollett family friend, contacted Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, whose office handled the Smollett deal.
She told Foxx: “Hi Kim – I sent an email to your work address I think as well. I wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know. They have concerns about the investigation. I am on an 8 am flight to nyc but please call me before then. I land about 1015 Chicago time. My cell is [redacted]. Many thanks!”
Foxx responded: “I’ll keep you posted. Spoke to the superintendent earlier, he made the ask. Trying to figure out logistics.”
Columnist Mary Mitchell wrote: “The credibility of the Cook County state’s attorney’s office was already compromised after Kim Foxx had to recuse herself because she corresponded with Tina Tchen, the former chief of staff for Michelle Obama, after Smollett had reported that he was attacked on Jan. 29. Tchen had reached out on behalf of Smollett’s family with concerns about how the investigation was being handled.”
The Daily Mail of London noted police officers already have called for an investigation into the Obama links to the Smollett case.
“The Chicago police union has slammed Foxx’s conduct in the case as ‘highly, highly suspicious’ following her decision to recuse herself in the days before Smollett’s arrest after intervening in the investigation at the request of Tchen,” the report said.
The Obama links grow stronger. The Daily Mail said both of Smollett’s sisters worked for the Obama campaign in 2008 and 2012.
“Smollett himself has been pictured with the Obamas at the White House and once danced on stage with Michelle in a viral video from an event last year,” the paper said.
Now Tchen also has been cited by the much-troubled Southern Poverty Law Center as someone who is working to help the organization overcome its reputation for scandal.
Paul Bedard in the Washington Examiner explained the organization is “fundraising for a wide-ranging war on President Trump, and has enlisted a top aide to former first lady Michelle Obama who played a key role in the dropping of felony charges against ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett.”
Brian Fair, board chairman for SPLC, which recently fired its founder and saw its chairman resign, explained: “We’ve just launched an initiative with Tina Tchen – a former chief of staff for Michelle Obama and one of the leading voices behind the Times UP Legal Defense Fund – to advise us on workplace culture issues. Everyone who works at the SPLC deserves a workplace that reflects our highest values, and we’re committed to making sure that it happens.”
Michelle Malkin, in a column published by WND, explained the power the Obama-linked Tchen holds.
“All crooked roads in Chicago lead back to the Obamas,” she wrote.
“Two weeks ago, Chicago Sun-Times reporters discovered that Obama crony pal and deep-pocketed campaign finance mega-bundler Tina Tchen had inserted herself in the investigation. Tchen texted Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx just three days after the incident ‘on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know’ to express ‘concerns.’ She suggested that Foxx lean on Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to yield to the FBI and she shared an unidentified Smollett’s family member’s cellphone number with Foxx,” said Malkin.
“Only after Foxx meddled did she recuse herself and name an underling to take over – which rendered her Kabuki recusal meaningless to veteran observers of the ‘Crook’ County criminal justice system,” she wrote.
Malkin explained Tchen and Smollett’s sister, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, joined together in March 2018 at South by Southwest in Austin to proclaim that “There Is No Time’s Up Without Women Of Color.”
And Tchen and Smollett-Bell were on stage together again at a rally in Los Angeles along with Michelle Obama.
Smollett-Bell and another sister, Jazz Smollett-Warwell, worked for the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012, and volunteered as tireless surrogates, Malkin explained.
And the White House visitor logs show Jurnee Smollett-Bell paid at least one personal visit to “POTUS/FLOTUS” in 2013.
That was when Tchen was serving as a top strategist to both Obamas, Malkin said.
Malkin previously reported Tchen personally “shoveled” more than $200,000 into the 2008 Obama campaign and was special assistant to Barack Obama before being Michelle’s chief of staff.
She also coordinated celebrities to promote Obama, Malkin reported.
“Tchen has made quite the career out of exploiting her Obama connections, including cushy spots on VICE’s Diversity and Inclusion Board, Uber’s #MeToo advisory board, and the Grammys’ task force for inclusion and diversity,” she said.
The Daily Mail added that Tchen has “deep ties” to Chicago politics and is a friend of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s wife.