Text Messages Reveal How Kim Foxx Referred to Smollett

E. JASON WAMBSGANS  AFP  Getty Images

Foxx's office released a series of text messages between her and First Assistant Joseph Magats which took place on March 8, just before the 16-count indictment against Smollett was announced.

"Soo.... I'm recused, but when people start accusing us of overcharging cases..."

"Pedophile with victims 10 counts". 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 messages offer a glimpse into the state's attorney's private thoughts on a high-profile case from which she ultimately recused herself.

Magats replied that he could "see where that can be seen as excessive".

Smollett had faced the felony charges after a grand jury indictment on claims that he had staged a hate crime attack in Chicago in January.

Those texts and other communications between Foxx, her staff at the state attorney's office and people outside their office were obtained by CNN through an open records request.

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Immediately after the charges against Smollett were dropped, the office scrambled to respond.

Foxx's office issued a statement recusing her on February 19, though they later claimed she "did not formally recuse herself".

(Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) Jussie Smollett waves as he follows his attorney after his court appearance at Leighton Courthouse on March 26, 2019 in Chicago. Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said police have the check.

Prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against Smollett.

When asked why the state's attorney continued to communicate about the case after her withdrawal, a spokeswoman issued a statement Tuesday night on Foxx's behalf saying she reached out to Magats only "to discuss reviewing office policies to assure consistencies in our charging and our use of appropriate charging authority". Each of the 16 counts against him covers various alleged acts that Smollett falsely described to the officers-including that he was hit by two men, that they yelled racial and homophobic slurs and poured a chemical on him. City officials since have filed a civil lawsuit, seeking to collect more than $130,000 spent on police overtime for investigators handling the case. Foxx's office has since said that when an interoffice email to senior staff stated that Foxx was "recused" in the case, the term was used in a colloquial, not a legal definition. She said Johnson seemed "satisfied" with her explanation that Smollett had completed community service and turned over his $10,000 bond money to the city.

Police said, in reality, Smollett had paid Ola and Abel Osundairo to stage the attack.

Cook County's Inspector General Patrick Blanchard has begun an investigation into how Foxx's office handled the case.

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