Trump orders FBI, Justice Department review into Jussie Smollett: ‘It is an embarrassment’
The 36-year-old Empire actor had been facing 16 felony counts alleging he lied to police about being attacked in January. He also said the attack had been homophobic and racist in nature.
On Tuesday, the Illinois state attorney’s office suddenly dropped the charges and his record was wiped clean, his lawyers said.
WATCH: Chicago prosecutor defends her department’s decision to drop Jussie Smollett charges
On Thursday morning, Trump announced on Twitter that the two law enforcement branches would be investigating the case.
“FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!” he wrote on Twitter.
Smollett maintained his innocence during the investigation against him, saying on Tuesday, “I have been truthful and consistent on every level since day one.”
Later that day, Trump commented once again about the Smollett case at a 2020 campaign rally in Michigan, calling the incident an “embarrassment” to Chicago and to the U.S.
WATCH: Trump says Jussie Smollett case is an ’embarrassment’ to Chicago and the U.S.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel criticized the prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges on Tuesday.
“This is a whitewash of justice,” Emanuel declared. “It’s Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax. He’s still saying he’s innocent, still running down the Chicago Police Department. How dare he? How dare he?”
In a statement, the prosecutor’s office about the dropped charges didn’t offer a detailed explanation, but said: “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”
WATCH: A timeline of the Jussie Smollett investigation
— With files from Katie Scott and Chris Jancelewicz
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