President Trump weighed in on the Jussie Smollett controversy Thursday and indicated that he wants the FBI and the Department of Justice to review the case.
Two days after prosecutors announced that they are dropping all charges against Smollett, who stands accused of faking a hate crime in Chicago this January, the President tweeted: “FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!”
On Wednesday, Chicago’s ABC7 reported that the FBI is looking into the the dismissal of charges against Smollett. The FBI declined to confirm the investigation to TIME.
Meanwhile, Smollett’s lawyer, Tina Glandian, said she is “not at all” concerned about an investigation of Smollett by the Department of Justice and FBI in an appearance on NBC’s Today show Thursday. She added that Smollett has been further victimized by the investigation against him and by comments by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who criticized Chicago prosecutors for dropping the charges.
“He, at this point, has been victimized much more by what’s happened afterwards than what happened that night,” said Glandian.
Prosecutors have said that they stand by the police investigation and the decision to file charges against Smollett.
Trump has previously shown an interest in the case. When Smollett described the alleged assault to the police, he said that his attackers had shouted “this is MAGA country” – a reference to the President’s campaign slogan.
When news of the alleged attack emerged, Trump told reporters that the alleged assault was “horrible.” But once charges were filed against Smollett, Trump expressed anger that his supporters had been implicated in the assault, tweeting, “what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!?”