President Trump announced on Thursday that federal authorities will review the handling of the criminal case against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett.
“FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago,” the president tweeted on Thursday morning. “It is an embarrassment to our Nation!”
Earlier on Thursday, Chicago’s ABC7 reported that two law enforcement officials had confirmed the FBI is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the local prosecutor’s sudden decision this week to drop all 16 criminal counts against the actor, who had been accused of staging an attack against himself on a Chicago street in January.
The FBI had no comment.
On Wednesday, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx defended her office’s decision to drop all charges against Smollet, noting that it was common to drop Class 4 felonies in exchange for two days of community service and forfeiting his $10,000 cash bond payment to the city.
“I believe this is a just outcome based on the circumstances,” Foxx said.
Earlier this week, first assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Joseph Magats noted that he did not believe the actor was “innocent.”
The disposal of the case, with Smollett not having to admit guilt, has sparked outcry, with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel condemning the decision as a “whitewash of justice.”
On Wednesday, Chicago police released a 61-page investigative file from their Smollett investigation.
Obtained by the Chicago Tribune and other news outlets before the case was sealed by a judge, the records show how police built their case against Smollett using evidence they gathered and statements from two brothers who said the actor paid them to stage the Jan. 31 attack. Names and other identifying information were redacted from the documents before they were made public.