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She Recused Herself From Smollett Case, Then Texted About It

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx called actor a 'washed-up celeb'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2019 6:11 AM CDT
In this Feb. 22, 2019 file photo, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx speaks at a news conference, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

(Newser) – The Chicago Tribune and other media outlets sought a slew of police and prosecutor files related to the Jussie Smollett case; what they were able to obtain doesn't provide much insight into why the charges against Smollett were dismissed. But they do put Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx back in the hot seat. Her office released 178 pages of texts and 3,655 pages of emails, and some of those messages expose her private opinions on the case—one that she recused herself from in February. 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." The two texts from Foxx getting the most attention, which were made on March 8 after the news that Smollett had been indicted on 16 counts broke:

  • "Sooo…...I’m recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases...16 counts on a class 4 (felony) becomes exhibit A," Foxx messaged her chief assistant, Joseph Magats.
  • "Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts [a reference to R. Kelly]. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16 (counts),” she wrote. "… Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should."
  • USA Today calls out Magats' reply, reporting Magats texted that he "agreed" and the office would take a "hard look at how we charge the cases and get it to something that covers what needs to be covered without being excessive and ultimately pointless."
The Tribune reports that Foxx's office has described her recusal as an informal one, as an official one would have required her office to wash its hands of the case and seek a special prosecutor. A rep on Tuesday night responded to questions about Foxx's texts by saying she communicated with Magats in order "to discuss reviewing office policies to assure consistencies in our charging and our use of appropriate charging authority." NBC Chicago reports Foxx on Friday announced a county inspector will investigate her office's treatment of the case. (Read more Jussie Smollett stories.)

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