*The FBI have reportedly launched a probe into the alleged secret deal Chicago prosecutors made with Jussie Smollett that resulted in all charges against him being dropped.
Even though the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office insisted they had the evidence for a conviction, the 16-count felony indictment against the “Empire” star was dismissed with no warning and little explanation, reported Chicago ABC affiliate WLS-TV.
According to Page Six, the federal investigation kicked off one day after this latest twist in Smollett’s case.
“Based on the facts and the evidence . . . this office believes that they could prove him guilty,” state’s Attorney Kim Foxx told WLS. She noted that the decision to let Smollett go free after forfeiting his $10,000 bail and performing 16 hours of community service was simply an “outcome based on the circumstances.”
OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Prosecutor Kim Foxx Says Jussie Received Same Deal as a Non-Celebrity + Trump Weighs in [WATCH]
After Foxx recused herself from the case, it was passed over to First Assistant State’s Attorney Joe Magats, who announced the dismissal of charges Tuesday but made it clear, “We didn’t exonerate him.”
“We didn’t exonerate him,” Magats said. “We stand behind the investigation, we stand behind the decision to charge him and we stand behind the charges in the case. The mere fact that it was disposed of in an alternative manner does not mean that there were any problems or infirmities in the case or the evidence.”
Asked whether Foxx is under investigation for allegedly using Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff to influence the case, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, which investigates public corruption, declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Smollett could still face federal charges, such as obstruction of justice, conspiracy, mail fraud or mailing threatening communications, the report states. Mail fraud alone carries up to 20 years imprisonment.
The decision will ultimately come from John Lausch, who was nominated by Trump as the US attorney of the Northern District of Illinois.