The Latest: Media lawyers demand openness in Smollett case

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the Jussie Smollett case (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

Prosecutors say they will notify media outlets if Jussie Smollett’s lawyers try to expunge the “Empire” actor’s record in a now-sealed criminal case that accused him of filing a false police report.

Prosecutors made the promise during a Chicago court hearing with media attorneys on Thursday, two days after they infuriated Chicago’s police chief and mayor by abruptly dropping the 16 felony counts against Smollett.

Prosecutors still insist the actor faked a racist, anti-gay attack on himself in January but have offered little explanation as to why they dropped the case and wiped his record from public view.

Lawyers for major news outlets including The Associated Press told the judge Thursday that court proceedings haven’t been transparent and that “the public is entitled to know what happened.”

Judge LeRoy Martin says court proceedings followed the law, adding: “There’s no nefariousness.”

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8 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the FBI and Department of Justice will review the case of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago.

Prosecutors offered little explanation and infuriated Chicago’s police chief and mayor this week when they dropped charges against Smollett related to making a false police report. Yet prosecutors still insist the actor faked a racist, anti-gay attack on himself in January.

Trump tweeted early Thursday: “FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!”

Smollett’s attorney says two brothers who claim they worked with the actor to stage the attack are lying. Investigators alleged Smollett staged the attack with the hopes of gaining attention and advancing his career.

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Check out the AP’s complete coverage of the Jussie Smollett case

Categories: National & International News