President Trump says the FBI and Justice Department will investigate the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of 16 felony charges against Empire star Jussie Smollett, who Chicago PD accused of staging his own hate crime.
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
Two Nigerian-born brothers caught on surveillance camera buying ski masks and red hats were ready to testify that Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the January 29 attack, and that the 36-year-oldactor was behind a threating letter received a week prior.
After Michelle Obama's former Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen contacted State's Attorney Kim Foxx, however, charges against Smollett were dropped. Prosecutors said that Smollett's debt to society had been paid in the form of $10,000 and 16 hours of community service he had already performed over two days at Rev. Jesse Jackson's human rights coalition.
Smollett, meanwhile, maintains his innocence.
The sudden dismissal enraged Chicago PD, while drawing a harsh rebuke from Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel - who called it a "whitewash of justice."
Rahm Emanuel on Jussie Smollett case:— Alana Mastrangelo (@ARmastrangelo) March 26, 2019
“This is without a doubt a whitewash of justice, and sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power, you’ll get treated one way—there is no accountability—it is wrong, full stop.”
Prosecutors scramble to cover their tracks
A leaked email from the Cook County prosecutor's office reveals that they sent out a call for "examples of cases, felony preferable, where we, in exercising our discretion, have entered into verbal agreements with defense attorneys to dismiss charges against an offender if certain conditions are met."
Update: The FBI is now reviewing circumstances of why all the criminal charges against Smollett were dropped. Update 2: a leaked email from the prosecutor's office show them scrambling to find other cases where charges were suddenly dropped under conditions like Smollett's. pic.twitter.com/0kswrSbYD3— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) March 28, 2019
According to journalist Andy Ngo, "Source inside CPD relays that it is absolutely NOT NORMAL to have an alternative prosecution where the defendant doesn't admit guilt."
Source inside CPD relays that it is absolutely NOT NORMAL to have an alternative prosecution where the defendant doesn't admit guilt. (Jussie Smollett actually gave a victory presser proclaiming innocence.)— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) March 28, 2019
The FBI is reportedly also working with the US Postal Service to determine whether Smollett had a hand in sending the racist letter he received a week before the hate-crome hoax.