Looks like Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx is going to be in more trouble.
FOIA requests by the New York Post and other media have revealed that even after she claimed to the public that she had ‘recused’ herself from the Jussie Smollett case, she was still communicating with her deputy in charge of the case, First Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, Joe Magats.
Her office had issued a statement on February 19, claiming that she was recusing herself from the case. But after it was revealed that if she recused that a court would have had to order a special prosecutor in accordance ties the law, she said that she had not actually “formally” recused herself but wasn’t involved in
But despite the ‘recusal,’ she was still communicating with Magats about the case.
On March 8, her text messages to Magats showed her telling Magats that she thought the charges excessive, despite the grand jury coming back with them.
From Page Six:
“Sooo …… I’m recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases … 16 counts on a class 4 becomes exhibit A,” Foxx wrote at the start of the exchange.
“Yes. I can see where that can be seen as excessive,” Magats replied.
Foxx then apparently compares Smollett’s 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to cops to singer R. Kelly’s 10 felony sex-abuse charges.
“Pedophile with victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16. On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it’s indicative of something we should be looking at generally,” Foxx continued.
“Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should.”
“Agreed,” Magats answered. “I’ll get with Risa and Jim. With him taking over we can 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.”
“Yeah…it’s not who we want to be,” she continued and Magasts agreed, “For sure.” They of course then dropped all the charges on March 26.
And that wasn’t all. She sent dozens of texts after claiming to not be involved in the case.
On March 1, she sent a message asking, “How was this morning’s meeting? I’m free for a call.” And on March 3, Magats told her that he had given her number to Michael Avenatti who might be joining the case, representing the Osundairo brothers, the men Smollett allegedly engaged to attack him. “…….. so Michael Avenatti reached out. Apparently he’s coming in to represent the Nigerian brothers in Smollet. I gave him your office number,” Magats wrote.
There were other messages that were redacted and Foxx’s office did not always explain the redactions in response to the FOIA request.
She was just speaking generally about policies of the office, not specifically about the Smollett case.
“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,” the statement said.
The texts revealed that the other staff wasn’t prepared for the blowback of the decision.
“Just wish I could have anticipated the magnitude of this response and planned a bit better!” Lanier wrote in a March 26 text to Magats.
“There’s really no planning for this. It’s the right decision,” Magats replied.
The FOIA release also shows that Smollett got letters of support.
The trove of documents released also shows that, two days before charges were dropped, prosecutors received letters of support for Smollett from the Black AIDS Institute, Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition and The City Lights Orchestra, citing his activism and community service.
After the huge backlash, including the Chicago Police union, the mayor and various prosecutors’ associations blasting Foxx’s actions and those of her office, the FBI is reviewing the handling of the case.
The city of Chicago is also suing Smollett for what they say is the cost of the hoax he perpetrated on the city. They previously asked for $130,000 but could get more if they win the suit and all the evidence of Smollett’s actions could come out.