- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx labeled “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett a “washed up celeb who lied to cops” in messages uncovered this week.

Ms. Foxx, the Illinois state’s attorney for Cook County, described Mr. Smollett as such in text messages sent to her top assistant on the day their office announced more than a dozen criminal counts against the actor for allegedly lying to authorities.

“Sooo……I’m recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases…16 counts on a class 4 (felony) becomes exhibit A,” Ms. Foxx texted Joseph Magats on March 8.


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Ms. Foxx subsequently compared her office’s charges against Mr. Smollet with the case announced weeks earlier against R. Kelly, the singer accused of sexually abusing several underage girls.

“Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16 (counts),” Ms. Foxx wrote. “Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should.”



“On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it’s indicative of something we should be looking at generally,” Ms. Foxx wrote.

Mr. Smollett, 36, has asserted he was the subject of a supposed hate crime that purportedly took place near his Chicago apartment on January 29. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office investigated his claims afterward but Ms. Foxx, the agency’s lead prosecutor, recused herself from that probe on February 19, citing past conversations she had with one of Mr. Smollett’s family members.

A grand jury empaneled in Cook County indicted Mr. Smollet last month on 16 felony counts related to reporting a fake hate crime. Prosecutors abruptly dropped all charges against him weeks later on March 29, and Ms. Foxx has since ordered a review of how that decision was reached.

The messages between Ms. Foxx and Mr. Magats, the first assistant Cook County state’s attorney, were released Tuesday after being obtained as the result of document requests filed by multiple news organization.

Ms. Foxx defended the exchange in a statement Tuesday, USA Today reported.

“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,” Mr. Foxx said in the statement. “I was elected to bring criminal justice reform and that includes intentionality, consistency, and discretion. I will continue to uphold these guiding principles.”

Representatives for Mr. Smollett did not immediately comment publicly on the messages.

“As the case is currently under review, we are not in a position to comment on specificities related to this topic,” the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a statement, NBC 5 Chicago reported. “We look forward to the findings of the Cook County Independent Inspector General’s Office’s review of how we handled this case.”

Mr. Kelly, 52, has denied the sexual abuse allegations.

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