Multiple law enforcement officials told a local ABC News reporter Rob Elgas on Wednesday that they are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of criminal charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.
"Two law enforcement officials briefed on the matter tell @ABC the FBI is *reviewing* circumstances surrounding dismissal of criminal charges against Jussie Smollett," Elgas tweeted. "ABC News is told this is not an investigation. It is a 'review' or 'inquiry'."
"As the @ABC7Chicago I-Team revealed this morning, records obtained from the Chicago police file on the Smollett case show the FBI was already involved in part of the investigation," Elgas continued. "In that report it was revealed that CPD forwarded a copy of a search warrant pertaining to Jussie Smollett’s Apple iCloud account to an FBI analyst."
The FBI's review into the case comes after the Cook County State's Attorney's office stunned the country on Tuesday, dismissing all 16 felony charges against Smollett, who was accused of staging a hate crime hoax against himself and lying to police about it.
Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) "issued a second letter to the United States Attorney's office in Chicago, calling for a federal investigation into Kim Foxx's office, and suggesting that something strange is happening among Chicago's prosecutors," The Daily Wire reported on Wednesday.
"The conduct of her office from the very beginning of this cases was highly, highly suspicious," FOP Vice President Martin Preib told the Chicago Sun-Times. "The entire country is outraged by it. The evidence is overwhelming that he was legitimately charged in this case. This decision appears to be utterly arbitrary, capricious and suspicious."
The Daily Wire also reported on Wednesday that "the Chicago Police Department fulfilled a Freedom of Information Act request from WGN News and CWB Chicago, and released complete but redacted files from the Jussie Smollett investigation — the last such documents that can be expected, according to CPD's spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi."
On Tuesday, ABC News' Terry Moran revealed that no written motions were filed in the court in connection with the dismissal of the case and that the case had been entirely removed from their database.
Moran tweeted: "Celebrity justice: Cook County clerk’s office tells @ABC they were shocked that no written motions were filed with the court in connection with today’s surprising dismissal in the Smollett case. On top of that, the case has been wiped off their database as if it never existed."
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said on Wednesday that she believed that the outcome in the case was "just...based on the circumstances."
"Foxx said that the practice of dropping charges in exchange for community service and restitution is not uncommon for the Class 4 felonies that Smollett was charged with," ABC 7 Chicago reported. Even as Foxx said Smollett received no special treatment, officials in her office were circulating a memo that raised fresh questions. The email, confirmed by the I-Team, asked Cook County prosecutors for examples of cases like where charges were dropped under circumstances similar to Smollett's. "
Despite her claim that a "just outcome" was reached in the case, Foxx said: "We believe that the facts were sufficient to charge and try Mr. Smollett for the crimes."
"Based on the facts and the evidence that was presented in the charging decision that was made by this office, this office believed that they could prove him guilty," Foxx added.
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