Cook County prosecutors have reportedly dropped all charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, who'd been indicted on 16 felony counts for allegedly staging a fake hate crime that led Chicago police on a wild goose chase for several weeks before being exposed as a big hoax.
Moments later, the Associated Press confirmed the reports, tweeting:
BREAKING: Attorneys for "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett say charges alleging he lied to police about attack have been dropped.— The Associated Press (@AP) March 26, 2019
According to the AP, "Smollett attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a Tuesday morning statement that Smollett’s record 'has been wiped clean.'"
According to Fox 32 Chicago reporter Rafer Weigel, a Chicago PD source said the directive came from State Attorney Kim Foxx.
Just got a tip from my Chicago PD source that SA Kim Foxx is going to drop the charges against #JussieSmollett. The question @Chicago_Police now have for him is how does #smollett plan to reimburse the city for all the money that was spent on his investigation?— Rafer Weigel (@RaferWeigel) March 26, 2019
This is the same Kim Foxx, mind you, who recused herself from the investigation citing a conflict of interest, just before being accused of tampering with the investigation on behalf of Smollett’s family by asking Chicago’s top police officer to drop the case and turn it over to the FBI.
The Chicago Tribune reports Foxx had been asked to do Smollett’s family the favor via “a politically connected lawyer close to Chicago’s most prominent political families, the Obamas and Emanuels” who also happened to be the former chief of staff for Michelle Obama. That bombshell report led a Chicago police union to call for a federal investigation into Foxx’s alleged mishandling of the case.
UPDATE: The Cook County State Attorney's Office has released a statement saying that Smollett will forfeit his $10,000 bond in exchange for all charges being dropped, adding, "After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition."
“After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition & appropriate resolution...” Cook County SAO— 𝕊𝕥𝕖𝕡𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕚𝕖 𝕎𝕒𝕤𝕙 (@WashNews) March 26, 2019