President Donald Trump has a message for Empire star Jussie Smollett.
Days after the Chicago Police Department’s felony case against Smollett was dismissed, Trump took to Twitter Thursday to claim that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice will “review” the controversial case.
“FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago,” he wrote. “It is an embarrassment to our Nation!”
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
Federal officials confirmed to NBC News that the Justice Department is “reviewing the Smollett case and how it was handled,” but an official statement about the case has yet to be made.
Smollett’s lawyer, Tina Glandian, addressed the supposed development during an appearance on the Today show, telling Savannah Guthrie: “We have nothing to be concerned about because there was nothing on our end to request this. Nothing improper was done.”
Glandian’s denial that anything “improper” happened came after critics questioned whether Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and a former top aide to Michelle Obama worked together to influence the case’s outcome.
Foxx dismissed claims of a conspiracy in an interview with NPR, noting that Smollett — who was charged with 16 felony counts for allegedly lying to police about a hate crime attack — likely wouldn’t have faced jail time if he was convicted.
“You know, I think that there is a lot of confusion,” she said. “For people who do this work every day, who recognize what the charges are — this is a Class 4 felony — we recognize that the likelihood that someone would get a prison sentence for a Class 4 felony is slim.”
Given the possible outcome of the case, Foxx reasoned it was appropriate to drop the criminal charges in exchange for community service.
The singer-songwriter, who said he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on Jan. 29 in Chicago, has consistently maintained his innocence. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of,” he told reporters at a press conference Tuesday.
You can watch Glandian’s interview with Guthrie below.
“He at this point again has been victimized much more by what’s happened afterwards than what happened that night.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 28, 2019