Donald Trump demands FBI investigation into Jussie Smollett case
US President Donald Trump has demanded a federal investigation of Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
The president weighed in days after prosecutors dropped all charges against Smollett, who had been accused of perpetrating a fake racist and homophobic attack on himself.
Although prosecutors dropped the charges “after reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case,” Trump called for a federal investigation into the issue.
Donald Trump tells FBI to ‘look at’ Jussie Smollett case
Trump tweeted on Thursday (March 28): “FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!”
Speaking to reporters outside the White House, he added: “I think the case in Chicago is an absolute embarrassment to our country and I have asked that it be—that they look at it.
“Somebody has to at least take a very good hard look.”
No formal federal investigation has been announced, beyond Trump’s tweets.
Smollett continues to maintain his innocence, and his lawyers suggested the decision to drop charges shows the lack of any case against him.
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., has tweeted and retweeted messages about the case 25 times since the decision to drop the charges was announced on March 26 (Tuesday).
The member of the first family has ‘liked’ a number of messages from right-wing and alt-right pundits laying into Smollett, describing him as “pure evil” and “sick.”
Chicago police send Jussie Smollett $130,000 ‘demand letter’
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Although the case was dismissed, the city of Chicago is attempting to pursue Smollett for the policing costs related to his case.
A letter from city officials threatens the actor with legal action if he does not pay $130,106.15 to cover the cost of the “extensive investigation” into his claims.
It says: “Over two dozen detectives and police officers participated in the investigation, ultimately spending weeks investigating your false claims.”
The letter repeated the claim that Smollett “knowingly filed a false police report and had in fact orchestrated your own attack.”
However, a spokesperson for the actor said: “It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie – owe him an apology – for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud.
“Jussie has paid enough.”
The actor agreed to forfeit his $10,000 release bond as the case was dismissed.