Jussie Smollett still not in the clear, FBI investigates letter sent to ‘Empire’
Despite charges being dropped in attack case, the alleged 'racist' and 'homophobic' letter sent to the show may spark up more drama
The plot thickens in the Jussie Smollett case. Although the charges against him for an alleged racist and homophobic attack have been dropped, he’s still on the hook for possible federal charges for the racist letter that he received on the Empire set.
Smollett somehow finagled his way out of being indicted on 16 charges in connection to an alleged fake hoax attack which has angered the Mayor and the Police Chief. Now many have accused State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for being the catalyst ‘behind the decision’ to drop Smollett’s charges, The Daily Mail reports.
Foxx recused herself from the early on because she had talks with Smollett’s family and their close Tina Tchen, who is Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff.
But a Chicago police union official said Foxx still had influence over the case, and Tuesday’s decision shows just how.
“Recusing herself, but not her administration, is a distinction without a difference,” Fraternal Order of Police Second Vice President Martin Preib told The New York Post. “What underling is going to go against their boss’s wishes?”
The FBI and the US Postal Inspection Service are still investigating the racist and homophobic letter that was sent three months ago to determine where it came from.
First Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Joe Magats said in an interview with New York Times on Tuesday that the decision to drop the charges came after the singer/actor agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond to the city of Chicago TheWrap reports. It is also being reported that his previous community service was taken into consideration. Even so, Magats wants to be clear that his office’s decision to expunge the charges do not equate Smollett’s innocence.
“We didn’t exonerate him,” Magats said. “We stand behind the investigation, we stand behind the decision to charge him and we stand behind the charges in the case. The mere fact that it was disposed of in an alternative manner does not mean that there were any problems or infirmities in the case or the evidence.”
Smollett’s lawyers claimed earlier on Tuesday that the dropped and expunged charges were not part of any deal and that the actor is free to move on from this situation, which goes against what Magats is saying now.
The city wants blood
Meanwhile, this stunning turn of events in the case angered Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, both expressed their anger and clear disappointment with the state’s attorney’s office’s decision.
“This is a whitewash of justice,” Emanuel said, noting that a grand jury indicted Smollett based on a “sliver” of the evidence police had gathered in the case.