Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx described actor Jussie Smollett as a "washed up celeb who lied to cops" in texts to her staff. The messages were sent after the star was indicted by a grand jury for charges related to staging a hate crime against himself.
Although Foxx recused herself from the case involving Smollett, who was charged with 16 felony charges for allegedly orchestrating a fake hate crime, she may have still been stirring the pot, according to the March 8 messages obtained by The Post.
Immediately after the charges against Smollett were dropped, the office scrambled to respond. Assistant State's Attorney Risa Lanier, the lead prosecutor on the high-profile case, texted Magats hours after the charges were dropped.
The messages were among almost 200 pages of screenshots of texts exchanged between Foxx and her top staff, included alongside more than 3,600 pages of emails - and a 36-page spreadsheet detailing records the office determined could not be released to the public because records in Smollett's case were sealed the day the charges were dropped.
"Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts [a reference to R. Kelly]. 16 counts on a class 4 becomes exhibit A". Then, she wrote, "On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it's indicative of something we should be looking at generally". It also lays out Foxx's reasons for dropping the charges, noting, "Just because we can charge something doesn't mean we should". He claimed two men beat and shouted slurs at him and wrapped a noose around his neck. Cops concluded he lied and paid two brothers to stage the whole thing. Police insist the actor, who is black and gay, staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity.
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In other communications obtained by CNN through an open records request, Foxx suggested the charges against Smollett were over exaggerated. As ABC News puts it, "The newly revealed correspondence between Foxx and her employees raises questions about the role she may have played in the case after said recusal".
After the indictment became public, I reached out to Joe to discuss reviewing office policies to assure consistencies in our charging and our use of appropriate charging authority.
Protestors organized by the Fraternal Order of Police call for the removal of Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx on April 01, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
Foxx had recused herself from the case in February after she had communications with one of Smollett's relatives. "I was elected to bring criminal justice reform and that includes intentionality, consistency, and discretion. I gave him your office number", Magats wrote. Smollett agreed to forfeit $10,000 in bail and do community service.