UPDATE: And now this:
JUST IN: Prosecutor says he still believes Jussie Smollett lied about attack despite dropping charges - AP— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 26, 2019
"Do you believe that he is innocent?" CBS reporter @adrianasdiaz asks First Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Joseph Magats about dropping charges against Jussie Smollett. "I do not believe he is innocent," Magats responds. pic.twitter.com/NEWZuD2aBe— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) March 26, 2019
The outrage over more than a dozen felony charges against actor Jussie Smollett being wiped away and sealed from public view isn't slowing down.
Smollett was indicted by a grand jury earlier this year for "allegedly" faking a hate crime against himself and then blaming it on two white Trump supporters. The real "attackers," who Smollett hired, were two men of Nigerian descent. That's the very short version of the story.
Now, even the prosecutor who dropped the charges is admitting it's bullsh*t.
NEW from Chicago: Joe Magats, the first assistant state's attorney who made the final decision to drop the charges against Jussie Smollett, says in an interview: "We didn't exonerate him."— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) March 26, 2019
Magats, the asst state's atty, said he saw no problems with the police investigation or the evidence against Smollett. The charges against Smollett were dropped in return for his agreement to do community service, he said, and for forfeiting his bond to the city of Chicago.— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) March 26, 2019
More from the asst state's attorney: "Here's the thing -- we work to prioritize violent crime and the drivers of violent crime. Public safety is our number one priority. I don't see Jussie Smollett as a threat to public safety."— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) March 26, 2019
"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."— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) March 26, 2019
During a press conference Tuesday morning, attorneys for Smollett did not argue their client was exonerated or an innocent man. Instead, they declared he was simply cleared and that they really "didn't know" what happened.
BREAKING: Jussie Smollett, attorneys speak outside Chicago courthouse after all charges dropped. https://t.co/kEEtWrvwYM— ABC News (@ABC) March 26, 2019
Tuesday afternoon, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson ripped Smollett and the decision not to proceed with a prosecution.
Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he believes the city of Chicago "is still owed an apology."— ABC News (@ABC) March 26, 2019
"They chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system." https://t.co/qWPqHKkytu pic.twitter.com/qB55ctIgMS
While state charges against Smollett have been dropped, a federal prosecution is still a possibility.