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Prosecutors’ texts show Foxx involved in Smollett case after recusal

17 April 2019

"Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16 (counts)", she wrote.

Foxx sent the text to first assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats weeks after she recused herself from the case. "16 counts on a Class 4 becomes exhibit A", Foxx texted the night the indictment was announced.

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.

"Pedophile with 4 victims, 10 counts", Foxx texted, likely referring to the sexual abuse case against R&B singer R. Kelly in Chicago.

Smollett walked free for the price of his bail bond with all charges being dropped due to his community service hours.

In a March 1 message, Foxx asks Magats "How was this morning's meeting?" But Foxx's office has since said she removed herself from the case only informally, since an actual recusal would have required her entire office to step aside and request the appointment of a special prosecutor.

Despite claiming to have recused herself from the case, a Cook County spokesperson admitted last month that Foxx only did so in a "colloquial", but not in a "legal sense". On March 3, Magats reported that he gave Foxx's phone number to Michael Avenatti, who had joined the case, according to text messages.

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". "On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it's indicative of something we should be looking at generally", Foxx continued.

Smollett, who is African-American and openly gay, had been indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct on charges he staged a hate crime attack on himself.

Other texts showed prosecutor were blindsided by the response they got following their decision to drop the charges.

Meanwhile, Inspector General Patrick Blanchard will open his own probe into the Cook County State's Attorney's handling of the case.

In a statement to the Mail, Foxx said that, after the indictment became public, she "reached out to Joe to discuss reviewing office policies" in order to "assure consistencies" in the office's charging and its "use of appropriate charging authority". The decision to drop charges sparked outrage, and was followed by a civil suit by the city of Chicago against Smollett seeking to force the actor to reimburse the city for police department overtime expenses. "I was elected to bring criminal justice reform and that includes intentionality, consistency, and discretion". She said her office routinely agrees to diversion deals.

The materials shed light into the frustrations and pressure that Foxx's office was facing as it handled the Smollett case.

Prosecutors’ texts show Foxx involved in Smollett case after recusal