Prosecutors struggled over how to describe their reasoning for dropping all charges against Jussie Smollett, according to more than 2,000 pages worth of new documents released on Friday. They also appeared to work closely with Smollett’s legal team in dropping the charges, and even discussing why the charges were dropped.
Empire star Smollett was indicted on 16 felony charges in February that he allegedly faked a hate crime against himself. Nearly a month later, prosecutors shocked many by dropping all charges in exchange for his forfeiting his $10K bail, and as credit for volunteer work he had performed.
So what happened between point A & B? According to the released docs, it seems the prosecutors asked police to stop investigating Smollett and allowed his lawyers to frame the statement they made when they announced the dropped charges.
The Chicago State’s Attorney Office reportedly never even requested the evidence that cops built their case on, according to docs released by the police department.
"We are still bouncing around language to use in court tomorrow," Risa Lanier, chief of the criminal prosecutions bureau, reportedly texted Smollett lawyer Patricia Brown Holmes on March 25, on the eve of the charges being dropped.
"As soon as I receive the final draft I will send it to you," she promised.
When Smollett’s lawyers complained about the statement, the prosecutor adjusted the language.
Since the charges were dropped, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has been severely criticized, with many calling for her ouster.
On Friday in a statement, she said: "False rumors circulated that I was related or somehow connected to the Smollett family, so I removed myself from all aspects of the investigation and prosecution … so as to avoid even the perception of a conflict."