Federal law enforcement officials are investigating a new allegation made by the two brothers in the Jussie Smollett case that Smollett was involved in sending a hate letter to himself a week prior to the alleged attack.
“The FBI and the US Postal Inspection Service are currently investigating whether Jussie Smollett played a role in sending a threatening letter addressed to him at ‘Empire’s’ Chicago studio prior to the alleged attack,” ABC News reported, after confirming with two federal officials. “The accusation, made by the two brothers who were persons of interest, has not been confirmed.”
On Monday, CBS News reported that the attack on Smollett was allegedly concocted because Smollett was upset that the incident involving the letter did not get a “bigger reaction.”
In a separate development, Chicago Police “are investigating a tip that on the night ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett reported being attacked by two masked men he was in an elevator of his apartment building with two brothers later arrested and released from custody in the probe,” the Associated Press reported.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that tip came from someone who either lived in the building or was visiting someone in the building at the time.
The news comes as the brothers and their attorney left court where they were expected to testify against Smollett in front of a grand jury.
The Daily Mail reported on Monday that Smollett had participated in a play that was similar to the alleged attack hours before the attack happened.
“He had been in New York City for a reading of the play Take Me Out, with sources telling DailyMail.com that Smollett was being considered to appear in a possible revival of the Tony-winning production about a biracial baseball star who comes out as gay,” The Daily Mail reported. “The script for that play finds the lead character being attacked by a new pitcher who joins the team. That character uses the same racial slurs Smollett told police his attackers screamed at him, including ‘f****t’ and ‘n****r.'”
Over the weekend, TMZ reported that Chicago law enforcement officials were suspicious of Smollett early on in their investigation:
The sources say there were red flags from the get-go. Cops were extremely suspicious when Jussie took them out to the area where he said he was attacked and pointed to an obscure camera saying how happy he was that the attack was on video. Turns out the camera was pointing in the wrong direction. Cops thought it was weird he knew the location of that camera.
And, there’s this. We’re told investigators didn’t believe the 2 alleged attackers screamed, “This is MAGA country,” because, “Not a single Trump supporter watches ‘Empire.'”
Also on Monday, The Blast reported that whoever sent the letter to Smollett could receive up to five years in prison, if convicted. The Blast reported that the charge would be “mailing threatening communications,” which states:
Whoever knowingly so deposits or causes to be delivered as aforesaid, any communication with or without a name or designating mark subscribed thereto, addressed to any other person and containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of the addressee or of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.