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Newly released messages show Kim Foxx bashed Jussie Smollett, discussed case despite public recusal

'Sooo…...I'm recused, but...'

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Was Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx actually recused from the Jussie Smollett criminal case after she publicly declared she was?

That's the question many are asking after her office released a trove of emails and text messages related to the case.

What are the details?

The messages, released Tuesday, show that after Foxx announced her recusal from the case on Feb. 19 because she said she had been in contact with a relative of Smollett, Foxx continued to internally discuss the case with her top aides, according to WBBM-TV.

Text messages reveal what Foxx really thought of Smollett and showed that she was concerned how the optics of the case reflected on her office.

"Sooo…...I'm recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases...16 counts on a class 4 [felony] becomes exhibit A," she wrote to Joe Magats, her top deputy, on March 8. "Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16 [counts]."

The "pedophile" Foxx referred to is rapper R. Kelly, who has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

"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," Foxx went on to tell Magats.

WBBM obtained the messages through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Foxx's office shockingly announced last month that it was dropping all charges against Smollett. He had been charged with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police about being the victim of a hate crime. Instead, law enforcement said Smollett orchestrated a hoax.

In exchange for having his record cleaned, Smollett agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bail — which he posted after pleading not guilty to all charges — and perform a few hours of community service.

Still, the city of Chicago sued Smollett for an additional $130,000 last week to recoup the costs of the investigation into his alleged attack.

How did Foxx respond?

Despite claiming last month that she did not officially, legally recuse herself from Smollet's case, instead only distancing herself from it out of an "abundance of caution," Foxx on Tuesday defended her communications.

"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," she said in a statement. "I was elected to bring criminal justice reform and that includes intentionality, consistency, and discretion. I will continue to uphold these guiding principle."

One last thing…
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