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 police opened a hate crime investigation after Smollett said he was attacked near his apartment. According to police, Smollett said two men approached him shouting “racial and homophobic slurs,” poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him and wrapped a noose around his neck. Police confirmed to CBS News that in a second interview with police, Smollett told detectives his attackers yelled “This is MAGA country.”
But amid claims that Smollett had concocted the story of Trump supporters carrying out the alleged attack, the president slammed Smollett for lying, tweeting that his “dangerous comments” had “insulted” his supporters.
A Chicago grand jury later charged Smollett with 16 felony counts for every alleged lie he told police. But on Tuesday after Smollett had pleaded not guilty, the Cook County State’s Attorney Office announced that all charges against the actor were dropped and his record would be wiped clean.
The FBI had been involved in the Smollett investigation from the beginning, specifically looking into alleged “threatening” letters Chicago police say Smollett had sent himself.
It’s unclear what the Justice Department would be “reviewing” or why. The Illinois attorney general who would have oversight over a misconduct allegation by States Attorney told CBS News they are not going to review the case. The Department of Justice declined to comment on the investigation.
CBS News’ Alturo Rhymes and Jeff Pegues contributed to this report.