Yesterday, Ed looked into parts of the trove of more than 300 documents from the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax that were released to the public. He focused on the way the Chicago PD was totally misled by Kim Foxx’s office in terms of whether there would be any sort of admission of guilt involved when the charges were suddenly and mysteriously dropped. That was bad enough, but it turns out there were more surprises waiting in the Friday document drop.

As the dismissal of the case approached, the Chief of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau in Chicago, Risa Lanier, was texting madly back and forth with Smollett’s lawyers to make sure they were happy with the wording of the upcoming announcement. (NY Post)

Prosecutors bent over backwards to keep Smollett’s lawyers happy, texts released by the state’s attorney’s office Friday night show.

“We are still bouncing around language to use in court tomorrow,” Risa Lanier, chief of the criminal prosecutions bureau, 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.

Five hours later, Lanier does send the draft statement, apologizing, “Sorry for the delay.”

Just how much pull did Smollett’s family (along with the Obama connection) have with the prosecutor’s office? After that first exchange, where the bureau chief apologized for taking so long to send their department’s upcoming public statement to Smollett’s attorneys for approval, the attorney in question sent back corrections. Smollett’s attorney complained that the original wording made it sound like Jussie was getting “a deal” and that he was giving up his bail money and doing community service because he was admitting guilt.

How did Lanier respond to that? By adding in a new sentence saying, “This doesn’t indicate or suggest that he has done anything at the request if [sic] the state.” Smollett’s attorney responded by saying they “like this one.”

Are you kidding me? The cops had a mountain of evidence and everyone was ready to move toward trial. If they were worried about the appearance of overcharging they could have knocked a couple of charges off the list. Instead, not only did Foxx’s office drop the entire thing, they allowed the defendant’s lawyer to proofread and edit their public statement explaining the decision.

Meanwhile, Foxx has come up with yet another reason why she recused herself. (Associated Press)

Chicago’s top prosecutor again shifted her explanation for why she recused herself from an investigation into Jussie Smollett’s claim that he’d been the target of a hate crime, saying she stepped aside because of false rumors she was related to the “Empire” actor…

Foxx said in her Friday statement: “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,”

But previous explanations suggested that she recused herself in Febraury because of communications with a Smollett family member as the investigation of the reported attack was ongoing.

Even if this is true (and I’ve long since reached the point where I don’t automatically believe anything coming out of Foxx’s office), how is it that nobody in the press ever got wind of this supposed “rumor” that Foxx was a relative of Smollett’s? And if so, she recused herself to avoid the perception of a conflict? The perception? I think we’re well past the point of worrying about “perceptions” by now. If we need another mystery to investigate it’s probably the question of why we aren’t seeing Foxx and her entire staff being frog-marched out the building and replaced.