Trump asks federal authorities to review Smollett case

Smollett, who is African-American and openly gay, has said he was walking from a Subway sandwich shop to his apartment in the 300 block of East North Water Street about 2 a.m. January 29 when two men walked up, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, hit him and wrapped a noose around his neck.

The county prosecutors' decision stunned the city's police chief, prompted the police union to demand a federal investigation, and enraged Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, who called it a "whitewash" that made a fool of the city.

Authorities alleged that Smollett, who is black and gay, knew the men and arranged for them to pretend to attack him as a publicity stunt.

Foxx didn't directly answer the question when CBS 2 TV in Chicago asked if she believed Smollett was innocent, as Smollett has continued to contend, saying only that the matter was handled properly.

The FBI has already had some involvement in the case, with agents investigating a threatening letter Smollett said he received prior to the attack, according to the Chicago Police Department.

Defence attorneys have said Smollett's record was "wiped clean" of the 16 felony counts he'd faced.

But in Smollett's case, some say they did not go far enough.

Trump wrote in an early-morning Twitter message announcing the review that the case had embarrassed the nation. But department policy generally restricts prosecutors from bringing federal charges after state charges have been resolved, unless they can establish that the potential crime at issue is a federal one and involves "a substantial federal interest".

The brothers have not spoken about the case since police said they confessed to being paid to stage the attack. The FBI declined to confirm the investigation to TIME. "23 grand jurors in Cook County found probable cause".

"He completely politicized this at a time when our country is ripping itself apart", McCain said.

Adriana Diaz spoke to Chicago's top prosecutor, Kim Foxx, about the case.

Foxx recused herself from the case after acknowledging she had discussed it with a relative of Smollett.

"This is a person now who's been let off scot-free with no sense of accountability", Emanuel said.

Republican state Rep. David McSweeney filed a resolution requesting a "comprehensive examination" of the circumstances around the Smollett case. "To my knowledge, nothing improper was done", she said in the interview.

After Smollett was relieved of all charges, Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who previously criticized Smollett after evidence suggested that he staged the attack against himself, maintained that justice had not been served.


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