Donald Trump does not seem to believe that Jussie Smollett is an innocent man.
While the Empire star was cleared of all charges in connection to his disorderly conduct case — he was accused of staging a hate crime against himself for attention and monetary gain— the President announced that the Department of Justice would review Smollett's case after conservatives slammed prosecutors' decision to drop all charges against him. "FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago," Trump wrote on Twitter early Thursday morning (March 28). "It is an embarrassment to our Nation!"
The President's tweet came hours after Smollett's attorney, Patricia Holmes, released a statement, condemning Chicago authorities who "have continued their campaign against Jussie Smollett after the charges against him have been dropped."
"The case is closed," she wrote in a statement shared by TMZ. "No public official has the right to violate Mr. Smollett's due process rights." Holmes added that Smollett is allowed the same rights as every citizen — he "is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law."
"We respectfully request all government agencies involved live up to the ethical tenets of their office [...] The case was dismissed," she continued. "We should all allow Mr. Smollett to move on with his life as a free citizen."
As previously reported, the actor claimed he was assaulted in Chicago on January 29 by two men wearing ski masks. He said he had just arrived in the city from New York and made a late-night run to a Subway when someone yelled: "Aren't you that f**got 'Empire' n**ga?" He claimed the two attackers, later identified as brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, then proceeded to jump him, put a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him. Smollett additionally claimed his attackers shouted, "this is MAGA country!"
Last month, after Chicago authorities accused Smollett of orchestrating the attack, Trump accused Smollett of insulting "tens of millions of people" with his reference to the "MAGA" slogan. ".@JussieSmollett - what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA," he wrote.
The 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct against the 36-year-old Empire star were unexpectedly dropped on Tuesday (March 27). "Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him," the actor's legal team said in a statement, according to NBC. "Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgment. Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. That is wrong. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case, Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim, in this case, was the only just result."
While Smollett's case is technically closed, the FBI is still investigating the letter that was sent eights days before the "attack," to determine if Smollett sent the letter. If they find he did, in fact, send the letter to himself, he could face federal charges.
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