Authorities in Chicago are confused—and angry—about state prosecutors' decision to drop all charges against Jussie Smollett, but the Empire star might still end up back in court. Sources tell ABC that Smollett, who was accused of staging an attack on himself in late January, is still being investigated by the FBI and the US Postal Inspection Service and could still face federal charges. The sources say federal investigators suspect Smollett sent a threatening letter to himself before the alleged attack, and the investigation has not been affected by Illinois prosecutors' decision to drop 16 charges of disorderly conduct. Smollett said the letter contained racist and homophobic abuse with a drawing of a figure hanging from a tree, Page Six reports.
First Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Magats rejected Smollett's claim Tuesday that he had been exonerated, WLS reports. "This was not an exoneration. To say that he was exonerated by us or anyone is not true," he said. "We believe he did what he was charged with doing." Smollett agreed to forfeit $10,000 bond, and Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Push Coalition civil rights group confirmed that the actor had completed 16 hours of community service. Former prosecutor Tom Needham tells the Chicago Tribune that the episode is likely to deepen distrust between police and the state attorney's office. He says deals like the one with Smollett are not unusual, but prosecutors usually inform police beforehand—and require the offender to admit wrongdoing. (Read more Jussie Smollett stories.)