(NEW YORK) — Shockwaves continue to reverberate from the Cook County, Illinois prosecutors’ announcement yesterday that they’re dropping all 16 felony charges against Empire star Jussie Smollett.
Authorities still contend that Smollett faked a hate crime against himself on January 29, and fabricated claims that supporters of Donald Trump sat in wait for him at 2 a.m. on a sub-zero morning and assaulted him with slurs, bleach, and fists.
Smollett was indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct and filing a false report; investigators had determined that Smollett had staged the attack with the help of Nigerian brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo.
Smollett’s attorneys now contend that the brothers were solely responsible for the assault.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday to blast the developments, and Smollett. “He abused the city of Chicago. He actually committed a crime here, he lied about something,” Emanuel stated plainly.
“You have the state attorney’s office saying he’s not exonerated, he actually did commit this hoax. He’s saying he’s innocent and his words are true. They better get their story straight because this is actually making fools of all of us,” Emanuel noted.
Smollett’s attorney Tina Glandian also appeared on GMA, and admitted to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, “I understand why everyone is so confused by the turn of events in this case.”
When asked why prosecutors “still believed the charges,” Glandian responded, “…[A]ctions in this case speak a lot louder than words do…I think if the [prosecutors] believe the charges, they would never have dismissed the case.”
The FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service are still continuing their probe into whether Smollett played a role in sending a threatening message to himself prior to the allegedly staged attack.
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