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Actor and activist Jussie Smollett. Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony, weeks after he reported he was the victim of a hate crime, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Thursday evening.

The details: "Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest," Guglielmi tweeted. Smollett, who's black and gay, told police on Jan. 29 that he was attacked in Chicago by two people who yelled homophobic and racist slurs. But in recent days, the case took a strange turn amid reports that detectives were considering whether the attack was a hoax.

Detectives have released two men — brothers who know Smollett — after identifying them as potential suspects last week. Investigators have also discovered that the men purchased the rope that was used in the alleged attack.

  • Per ABC 7 Chicago, Smollett is due in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Chicago.

Smollett’s attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson released a statement Wednesday night:

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and mount and aggressive defense."

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.