President Trump has ordered a federal investigation after Cook County’s top prosecutor dropped all charges in actor Jussie Smollett's hate crime hoax case.
Trump asked the FBI and the Department of Justice to look into the case after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel - a hardcore Democrat - expressed his outrage over the dropped charges.
"FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!" Trump tweeted on Thursday morning.
Smollett, 36, still maintains his innocence. The actor told police he was attacked by 2 Trump supporters wearing red MAGA caps outside his Chicago condo on Jan. 29.
Smollett, who is biracial and openly homosexual, said the attackers yelled racist and anti-homosexual slurs at him.
But his two accomplices, brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo, admitted the actor paid them to help him orchestrate a hate crime to raise his celebrity profile and boost his salary on the Fox TV soap opera Empire.
Sources in Chicago tell local news stations that the charges were dropped to protect California Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, who is reportedly a 2nd or 3rd cousin of Smollett's mother, Janet Harris-Smollett.
Among the documents allegedly sealed from public view by a judge are "hundreds" of text messages exchanged between Smollett's family, Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx, Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, Tina Tchen, and Kamala Harris.
On Wednesday, Deadline.com reported that Fox may "cut their losses" and not bring the actor back if the series is renewed for a final season.
Empire's second season returned to dismal ratings in early March. The ratings have tanked even lower in subsequent weeks.
Meanwhile, Smollett's attorneys are complaining about the negative press coverage and the vocal outrage expressed by Chicago law enforcement and the mayor.
The actor is reportedly furious that the local news media and the public are not ready to view him as an innocent victim.
"We are disappointed the local authorities have continued their campaign against Jussie Smollett after the charges against him have been dropped," said attorney Tina Gladian in an appearance on Good Morning America on Wednesday.
She said she was shocked to hear Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel "double down" on their accusations against Smollett.
"The case is closed. No public official has the right to violate Mr. Smollett's due process rights," she complained.
"Mr. Smollett, like every citizen, is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Mr. Smollett is entitled to the same Constitutional protections as any citizen... including the right to speak freely about his innocence."
She added: "We respectfully request all agencies involved live up to the ethical tenets of their office, state and local law... We should all allow Mr. Smollett to move on with his life as a free citizen."
Regarding the ongoing federal probe into the threatening letter Smollett allegedly mailed to himself, Glandian said "We have nothing to be concerned about."
— Joaquin"Jack"Garcia (@JackGarcia66) March 28, 2019
Photos by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images, Scott Olson/Getty Images