Newly released texts, emails show behind-the-scenes of Smollett fallout

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx speaks at a news conference in Chicago. Foxx has asked the county's inspector general to review how her office handled

"Sooo.... I'm recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases.16 counts on a class 4 (felony) becomes exhibit A", Foxx texted Magats, according to documents released on Tuesday.

"Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts".

In an op-ed for The Chicago Tribune, Foxx said she understood the public outrage against Smollett, but said it was important to separate people we were angry at, from people who pose a public safety threat.

The messages offer a glimpse into the state's attorney's private thoughts on a high-profile case from which she ultimately recused herself.

"Yes I can see here that can be seen as excessive", Magats replied.

Foxx faced fierce backlash from the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Rahm Emanuel when her office announced it was dropping criminal charges against Smollett in an effort to focus its resources on violent crimes.

In the text messages, Foxx reportedly calls Smollett a "washed up celeb who lied to cops".

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

CBS Chicago has obtained hundreds of emails and texts regarding the investigation through a Freedom of Information Act request.

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"After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett's volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case", the Cook County State's Attorney's office stated in an email at the time.

The texts are among dozens sent between Foxx and Magats after Foxx claimed she stepped away from the case.

Other texts showed prosecutor were blindsided by the response they got following their decision to drop the charges. But Foxx's office has since said she removed herself from the case only informally, since an actual recusal would have required her entire office to step aside and request the appointment of a special prosecutor.

The communication between Foxx and Magats raised questions of whether she continued to take a role in the case after stepping away.

"It appears as if Jussie's press person may have notified the press", Lanier texted three spokespeople on the morning the case was dismissed.

In a written statement released Tuesday night, Foxx said she only wanted to ensure that the office's charging practices were consistent across different cases.

Prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against Smollett.

The lawsuit laid out a detailed account of the allegations against Smollett, who told police he was attacked January 29 by two men who shouted homophobic slurs at him, wrapped a noose around his neck and poured an unknown liquid on him. Police initially treated the incident as a hate crime, but their focus turned to Smollett after two brothers who were alleged to have been his attackers told detectives that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, with a promise of an additional $500 later.

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