In a stunning turn of events on Tuesday, March 26, the Assistant State's Attorney in Cook County, Chicago dropped all 16 felony charges of disorderly conduct against the "Empire" actor, who had been accused of lying to the police about being the victim of a racial and homophobic attack in the city in January.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police chief Eddie Johnson have spoken out to condemn the surprise decision, and on Thursday morning, Trump voiced his opinion on Twitter.
"FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!" he tweeted.
FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2019
His tweet follows on from the announcement that officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would be looking into the circumstances which prompted prosecutors to abandon and seal the case, while the Chicago arm of the Fraternal Order of Police, a trade union, said it had filed papers with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday.
After the charges were dropped on Tuesday, the 36-year-old told reporters he had been "truthful and consistent on every level since day one." He was accused of paying brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo to stage the attack, in which the masked men allegedly beat him, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him while yelling racial and homophobic slurs.
Shortly after, Johnson and Emanuel made it clear they didn't approve of the decision, with Emanuel publicly describing it as a "whitewash of justice."
Smollett's attorney Patricia Brown Holmes issued a statement on Wednesday blasting the officials for continuing "their campaign" against the actor.
"No public official has the right to violate Mr. Smollett's due process rights," she said. "We respectfully request all government agencies involved live up to the ethical tenants of their office.... We will not try this case in a court of public opinion. There is no case to try. The case was dismissed. We should all allow Mr. Smollett to move on with his life as a free citizen."