In a plot twist most didn’t see coming, all felony charges against Jussie Smollett were abruptly dropped on Tuesday morning.
However, the very prosecutor who dropped the charges—Cook County first assistant state’s attorney Joe Magats—wants to clear up one thing: this doesn’t mean he believes Smollett actually told the truth.
“We believe he did what he was charged with doing,” Magats told CNN affiliate, WLS. “This was not an exoneration. To say he was exonerated by us or anyone else is not true.”
“Do I think justice was served? No,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson during a press conference with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday, per Entertainment Tonight. “What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology.” Johnson has been firmly critical of Smollett since his arrest in January, accusing the actor-singer of “[taking] advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
Now, according to CNN, the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police is calling for a federal investigation into Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx’s involvement, claiming there are text messages between Foxx and an attorney about “diverting the case from Chicago police department to a federal investigation.”
In a series of texts and emails obtained by CNN, Foxx informed Smollett family friend Tina Tchen about Johnson requesting a federal investigation, after the Smollett family expressed “concerns about the investigation.” Tchen is Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff.
Later, Foxx had a text message exchange with another unidentified Smollett family friend noting she “spoke to the (police) superintendent earlier, he made the ask. Trying to figure out the logistics” to which the unidentified friend responded with, “Omg this would be a huge victory.” Following acknowledgment of the texts, Foxx recused herself from the Smollett investigation in mid-February.
The Chicago police union also wants the feds to further investigate the letter Smollett claims was sent to him prior to the alleged attack against him.
“We’re doubling down on that. We want to make sure that the Justice Department takes a very hard look with that case and what went on today,” union president Kevin Graham told reporters following news of the dropped charges.
Additionally, CNN reported that Gloria Schmidt, the attorney for brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, noted they were “fully prepared” to testify in court, but has since confirmed she no longer represents them. Smollett was initially accused of paying the Osundairo brothers to attack him in connection with an alleged hoax.