In a case that has taken a series of surprise twists since it was first reported in late January that “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was the apparent victim of a hate crime, the latest twist is that the FBI is said to be looking into why charges against Smollett were dropped.
Chicago’s WLS-TV cites two law enforcement officials confirming that the agency is “reviewing the circumstances” surrounding the dismissal of 16 felony disorderly conduct counts against Smollett. All of the counts were dropped Tuesday in exchange for Smollett’s community service and his agreement to forfeit his $10,000 bond payment.
A hearing that had been scheduled for today to expunge Smollett’s criminal record has reportedly been delayed.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx today defended her office’s decision to drop the charges against Smollett, saying: “I believe this is a just outcome based on the circumstances.”
The report notes that a spokesperson for the FBI’s office in Chicago declined to comment.