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FBI, US Justice Dept to review Jussie Smollett case

The actor claimed two masked men physically attacked him while expressing support for Trump and shouting racist and homophobic slurs.

FILE: Jussie Smollett attends the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 60th Anniversary Opening Night Gala Benefit at New York City Center on 28 November 2018 in New York City. Picture: AFP

WASHINGTON - The FBI and the US Department of Justice will now review the alleged case of staging a hate crime and filing a false report against Empire actor Jussie Smollett which was dropped this week.

US President Donald Trump made the announcement on Twitter on Thursday, saying the dropping of charges is an embarrassment to the country.

On Monday, Smollett’s lawyers announced that the charges have been dropped against the actor while the Chicago police, which investigated the matter expressed disappointment, saying justice was not served.

The actor claimed two masked men physically attacked him while expressing support for Trump and shouting racist and homophobic slurs. But it was later established by police that the whole attack was staged by Smollett, who wanted public sympathy and a salary increase.

When the case against Smollett was dropped this week, state prosecutors said they took the decision after reviewing the facts while the Chicago Police insisted there was overwhelming evidence that Smollett staged the attack.

This caused confusion amongst many Americans and news outlets.

President Trump has now tweeted an announcement that the FBI and the Justice Department will review what he calls the “outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago,” saying it is an embarrassment to the Nation.

But last night State attorney Kim Fox defended the decision to drop the charges.

“The court has not found him guilty but based on the facts, the evidence that were presented and the charging decision made by this office, this office believed that they could prove him guilty.”

Smollett addressed the media this week, saying he is happy he’s been exonerated, insisting he’s been telling the truth all along.

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