Jussie Smollett case: Cook Co. State's Attorney's Office releases 6,000+ pages of documents

ByChuck Goudie, Eric Horng WLS logo
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Jussie Smollett case: Cook Co. State's Attorney's Office releases 6,000+ pages of documents
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx has released more than 6,000 pages of documents pertaining to the Jussie Smollett case on Friday.

CHICAGO -- In a classic Chicago-way document dump, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx released thousands of pages of Jussie Smollett records after 5 p.m. Friday.

Click here to read the documents

The records were turned over under an open records request by ABC7 and several other news organizations that ended in court and resulted in a judge's order that the files be made public.

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There are copies of search warrants, police investigative notes and official charges as well as communications between Smollett's attorneys and prosecutors prior to the charges being dropped.

Many sections are blacked out-and not revealed-cited as protected under the law despite the court's ruling.

ABC7 asked for, and received, Kim Foxx's text messages and emails about Smollett-especially since Foxx recused herself from the case.

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Many of the texts and emails concern negative news media coverage of the investigation, especially when Foxx's office dropped the charges.

Some reveal reporters who get preferential treatment and who appears to be in the state's attorney's media doghouse. Much of the media bashing is seen in messages that are in a text group within the state's attorney's office - the group is called "Foxxhole."

There are also a number of documents about Foxx's recusal - and internal debates concerning its legality and how it should be publicly portrayed.

In a Feb. 1 text message between Foxx and her chief ethics officer April Perry, the state's attorney asks how likely it would be for the FBI to take the Smollett hate crime investigation?

Perry replies that the FBI would be absolutely willing and had offered assistance. "The only trick would be massaging CPD's ego a little," Perry wrote. Foxx replied that she was going to convince Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson of the FBI role.

April Perry resigned from the state's attorney's office in early May.

An email from Smollett's attorney Patricia Brown Holmes to assistant state's attorney Risa Lanier on Saturday, March 23 concerned discussions to end the prosecution of Smollett. "Jussie flew in this morning and is going to do 15 hours of volunteer work at PUSH over the weekend. I will call you Monday morning about advancing the matter to judge (sic) Watkins on Tuesday or Wednesday for dismissal as outlined" Smollett's attorney wrote. "I will also have some proposed language for you to review as well."

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On March 26, all charges were dropped against the Empire TV show star.

The records reveal that even after Foxx's office dropped the charges against Smollett-claiming it was a common way of handling similar cases-the state's attorney herself was looking for data to back up the decision.

"Kim wants the data of what she said today," one top staffer wrote in a text message.

In a statement Friday Foxx said that she did not have a conflict of interest in the case; only a sincere desire to serve the community. Foxx is now claiming that "false rumors" circulated she was connected to the Smollett family...so she removed herself from the case. Foxx ended the statement on Friday by saying that she regrets her attempts to this end "created confusion outside the office."

Previous coverage:

Judge rules to unseal records in 'Empire' actor's case

Judge asked to recuse himself will not; other judge will rule on special prosecutor

Judge asked to recuse himself from petition to appoint special prosecutor in 'Empire' actor's case

Jussie Smollett: 'Empire' actor's contract extended, no plans for character to return

Jussie Smollett News: Osundairo brothers file defamation lawsuit against 'Empire' actor's attorneys

Kim Foxx receives death threats after Jussie Smollett charges dropped

Kim Foxx texts show she thought number of Jussie Smollett charges 'excessive'

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx asks for review of how Jussie Smollett case was handled

Jussie Smollett update: City sues 'Empire' actor for cost of investigating alleged staged attack

Jussie Smollett attorney responds to Chicago's civil suit threat

Chicago to file civil suit against 'Empire' actor for not paying $130K cost of police investigation

In wake of Jussie Smollett, suburban police chiefs take no confidence stance against State's Attorney Kim Foxx

Jussie Smollett case leads to protests for, against Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx

Jussie Smollett update: Thousands referred for alternative prosecution by Cook County prosecutors haven't completed process

Jussie Smollett update: City of Chicago asks Jussie Smollett to pay for $130,000 cost of investigation

Jussie Smollett update: What's inside the CPD investigative file?

Jussie Smollett update: FBI reviewing circumstances of Jussie Smollett's charges being dropped, sources confirm

Jussie Smollett update: Charges against 'Empire' actor dropped; 'not an exoneration,' prosecutor says

RELATED: Mayor Emanuel calls decision to drop charges against Smollett 'whitewash of justice'

RELATED: Charges dropped against 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett

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RELATED: Jussie Smollett update: 'Pain and anger' around 'Empire' in recent weeks, Lee Daniels says

RELATED: FOP accuses Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx of interfering in Jussie Smollett investigation

RELATED: Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to disorderly conduct charges

RELATED: Jussie Smollett update: Texts shed light on why State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself

RELATED: Jussie Smollett appears in court for hearing; Cameras allowed for Thursday hearing

RELATED: Jussie Smollett update: Brothers 'taken advantage of' by Smollett, attorney says

RELATED: Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury

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RELATED: Jussie Smollett's check to brothers obtained by ABC News

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RELATED: Jussie Smollett alleged hoax may cast doubt on real hate crimes, advocates fear

RELATED: Jussie Smollett out on bond after being accused of staging attack

RELATED: Jussie Smollett charged with disorderly conduct for filing false police report, prosecutors say

RELATED: Cook Co. State's Attorney Kim Foxx recuses herself from Jussie Smollett investigation

RELATED: Brothers told police Smollett was upset threatening letter didn't get enough attention, staged attack

RELATED: Activist calls for Smollett's arrest, believes actor lied about attack

RELATED: Brothers tell police that Jussie Smollett paid them to stage attack, official says

RELATED: Sources: Police investigating whether Smollett staged attack with help of others

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