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Conservatives feel vindicated by new developments in Jussie Smollett case (updated)
Donald Trump Jr. is really invested.
The case of Jussie Smollett, who said he was attacked by two men in Chicago last month, has gotten more complicated in recent days, and conservatives on Twitter can’t get enough.
Smollett, an actor on the TV show Empire, told Chicago police he was attacked by two men early in the morning of Jan. 29.
Smollett alleged that the two men called him the N-word and F-word, wrapped rope around his neck, and shouted, “This is MAGA country.”
On Thursday, Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that reports that the attack was orchestrated were “unconfirmed by case detectives.”
Media reports anout the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives. Supt Eddie Johnson has contacted @ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate. pic.twitter.com/iSO5YFv452— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 15, 2019
Then, on Friday, Guglielmi stated that detectives had “additional investigative work to complete” after releasing two individuals, a pair of brothers from Nigeria, being questioned in connection with the case.
The brothers, identified as Ola and Abel Osundairo, are reportedly cooperating with the police. They were arrested Wednesday on returning from the U.S. from Nigeria; police reportedly raided their home Wednesday, retrieving a red hat, bleach, shoes, and electronics, according to ABC.
Case Update: Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 16, 2019
On Saturday, Guglielmi told the BBC, “We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation.”
“We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview,” he added.
Smollett through his lawyers has denied allegations that he was behind the attack.
“Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” his lawyers Victor Henderson and Todd Pugh said in a statement.
“He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
Conservatives on Twitter have seized on the situation.
It was all a fabricated story from Jussie Smollett and the wannabe's for President like Booker and the other racist Kamala jump on the story only to find out it was BS.— Mayor (@mayordedio) February 17, 2019
Jussie Smollett, you are a lying, race-baiting and bigot-baiting piece of garbage. I figured the whole time something was off with your story and now it has been all but confirmed to be a false flag. Go fuck yourself. I hope you go to jail and get the treatment there you accused.— Mr Sandman (@KyRy16) February 17, 2019
At least the Liberals are keeping their mouths shut about Jussie Smollett, but the True Conservatives (TM) are in full effect telling us that our principles demand we not say "We told you this was a lie from the beginning."— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) February 17, 2019
There're like a hack cliché of their own hack cliché.🛳
Donald Trump Jr. weighed in on the incident, as well.
I’m wondering if @KamalaHarris still wants #JusticeForJussie? Will she be as vocal about it now or has she moved on?— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 17, 2019
Kamala Harris: Attack on Jussie Smollett was ‘modern day lynching’ https://t.co/jjMzdejZbF
He weighed in quite a lot, actually.
Remember boys and girls, it’s not a conspiracy when you’re right & with all the obvious holes it seemed logical to question this disgusting hoax.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 17, 2019
This didn’t age well at all!
Is Trump Jr. pushing a Jussie Smollett conspiracy theory? https://t.co/LFFdAos0q0
Strange that no one in Hollywood or the Main Stream Media seems to want #JusticeForJussie anymore. Wonder what changed?— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 17, 2019
Shocked, I really thought MAGA folks (who are all over downtown Chicago) were waiting with a rope/bottle of bleach to ambush a righ guy at 2am in minus 4 degrees because those are conditions where all people go out for Subway rather than order Seamless.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 17, 2019
Seemed so real🙄🙄🙄 https://t.co/E4z9aaX5v1
It appears that Jussie Smollett tried to manufacture a hate crime to make Trump supporters look bad and most of the media not only uncritically accepted his lies as facts for weeks, but attacked those who questioned the validity of his false story.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 17, 2019
The Daily Dot reached out to the Chicago Police Department for an update on the case but did not receive a response by press time. Guglielmi told the Daily Dot in an email,
We were in the middle of an interrogation so as you would expect, information evolves during that process. While we are not in a position to comment, confirm or deny what’s been unofficially released, there are some developments in the investigation and we are now interested in speaking to the Empire cast member again. We have been in touch with his attorney and made that request.
Whatever the outcome of the investigation, hate crimes against marginalized people, including people of color and LGBTQ people, increased from 2016 to 2017 as reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As the Human Rights Campaign points out, hate crimes are underreported.
Updated 5:55pm CT, Feb. 17: The post was updated to include Guglielmi’s comment.
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.