- President Donald Trump said that the dropping of charges against Jussie Smollett is an “embarrassment to our nation.”
- Trump said the FBI and the Department of Justice would investigate why charges were dropped against the actor, who was accused of staging a hate crime to increase his “Empire” salary.
- Chicago police had also slammed prosecutors for dropping the charges, saying Chicago is “owed an apology.”
- No reason was given for dropping the charges. A prosecutor involved in the case said he still believes Smollett staged the hate crime.
- Smollett denies faking the attack.
President Donald Trump said that the dropping of charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is an “embarrassment to our nation” – and said the FBI and the Department of Justice would investigate.
Prosecutors dropped charges against Smollett on Tuesday after he was accused of faking a hate crime in Chicago. They did not give a reason.
Joe Magats, the prosecutor who dropped the charges, said he still believes that Smollett staged the hate crime, and said the dropped charges are not an “exoneration.”
Chicago police slammed the prosecutors for dropping the charges and said Chicago is “owed an apology.” The police had accused Smollett of hiring two men to fake the attack because he was unhappy with his salary on “Empire.”
“FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!,” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2019
Chicago ABC affiliate WLS-TV had reported on Wednesday that the FBI had launched a probe into why charges were dropped against the actor.
Separately, the FBI was investigating what Smollett claimed was a death threat sent to him by letter before the alleged attack. The FBI did not respond to the Chicago Tribune when asked if that investigation was still underway, as is routine.
Smollett was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct in February related to accusations that he staged a hate crime against himself in Chicago in January and filed a false police report.
He has denied faking the attack.
Smollett said at a press conference after charges were dropped that he has been “consistent on every level since day one.”
WLS-TV reported that charges were dropped after prosecutors reviewed the case, and took into account Smollett’s recent community service at the Rainbow Push Coalition, a social-justice nonprofit founded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Magats took the case over from Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who recused herself from the investigation after it was revealed she had been in contact with Smollett’s family, CNN reported.
- Read more:
- ‘Empire’ ratings plunge after Smollett’s arrest Chicago police say the city is ‘owed an apology’ after prosecutors dropped charges against Smollett Smollett pleads not guilty to 16 charges in hoax assault case Chicago police superintendent says he hopes the Smollett case won’t make people treat real hate crime victims with scepticism
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