Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx called Jussie Smollett a "washed-up celeb who lied to cops" in texts to her staff that were revealed amid mounting calls for her resignation. The messages were sent after the star was indicted by a grand jury for charges related to staging a hate crime against himself.
Foxx sent the text to first assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats weeks after she recused herself from the case. She has been accused of influencing the decision drop the charges against Smollett as a political favor. The texts indicate her recusal did not stop her from being involved in the case.
In the texts, Foxx drew comparisons between Smollett's charges and those of R. Kelly.
"Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16," she wrote, according to the Daily Mail. "On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it's indicative of something we should be looking at generally. Just because we can charge something doesn't mean we should."
The texts indicate the "recused" Foxx saw no point in charging the actor who claimed two men put a noose around his neck and poured a chemical on him. Smollett, who is black and gay, said the men yelled racist and homophobic slurs during the January attack. Cops concluded he lied and paid two brothers to stage the whole thing. A grand jury returned a 16-count indictment after the brothers said they were paid by Smollett to stage the hate crime.
In other communications obtained by CNN through an open records request, Foxx suggested the charges against Smollett were over exaggerated.
"Sooo......I'm recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases ...16 counts on a class 4 (felony) becomes exhibit A," she said. "It's not who we want to be."
The texts were fired off just two weeks before the state's attorney's office dropped all charges accusing Smollett of staging a phony hate crime. He had been arrested in February for lying about the attack.
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."
According to CNN, Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard will be launching an investigation looking into how Foxx's office handled the Smollett case.
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