Fuming from the stunning decision by prosecutors to drop charges in the “hoax” attack case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the move Wednesday, saying all the evidence police collected against the TV star should be unsealed as the FBI opened a review of the disposition of the case.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of the criminal charges against Smollett, two law enforcement sources briefed on the matter told ABC News on Wednesday. The sources insisted it is not an investigation, but a “review.”
“He’s saying he’s innocent and his words aren’t true,” Emanuel told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.” “They better get their story straight. This is actually making a fool of all of us.”
But Cook County State Attorney Kimberly Foxx, whose office dismissed the charges against Smollett, insisted that the actor did not receive any special treatment. She said Smollett was allowed to dispose of his case through an alternative prosecution program, just like 5,700 other people her office has charged with low-level felonies over the past two years.
In an interview with ABC News, Foxx said Smollett qualified for alternative prosecution because he doesn’t have a history of violence, lacks a criminal record and was charged with a class four felony, which is one step above a misdemeanor. She said her office would rather put resources towards prosecuting violent criminals.
Foxx said in a separate interview with ABC station WLS-TV that while Smollett was not found guilty in a court of law, “I believe, based on the facts and the evidence presented in the charging decision made by this office, this office believes that they could prove him guilty.”
“I think this office, based on the charging decision, believes he is culpable of doing that,” Foxx said.