House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) quietly deleted a tweet harshly condemning the alleged attack against actor Jussie Smollett.
The likely reason? New reports over the weekend indicate that Chicago detectives investigating the Smollett incident have evidence suggesting he orchestrated a hoax attack for unknown reasons.
What are the details?
Before any facts were known in the Smollett assault — which allegedly occurred early in the morning on Jan. 29 — Pelosi expressly condemned what Smollett claimed happened, denouncing the "racist, homophobic attack" as "an affront to our humanity."
"The racist, homophobic attack on @JussieSmollett is an affront to our humanity. No one should be attacked for who they are or whom they love. I pray that Jussie has a speedy recovery & that justice is served. May we all commit to ending this hate once & for all," Pelosi tweeted on the evening of Jan. 29.
By Sunday, that tweet was deleted.
According to Politwoops — a ProPublica project that tracks deleted tweets from members of Congress — the tweet was removed from Pelosi's official account sometime Sunday evening.
Pelosi has not issued a statement about the Smollett case's most recent developments.
Meanwhile, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said over the weekend he would withhold comment about the developments until "until all the information actually comes out from on the record sources." That was after he condemned the alleged attack as "modern-day lynching" on the same day Smollett claimed it occurred.
What happened with the case over the weekend?
Several significant developments surfaced over the weekend. The case took a dramatic turn Friday night after the two men police apprehended for the alleged assault — Nigerian brothers Olabinjo Osundairo, 27, and Abimbola Osundairo, 25 — were released from custody without charges.
A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said new evidence, which surfaced while interrogating the Osundairo brothers, prompted their release.
On Saturday, reports indicated that evidence included proof Smollett colluded with the Osundairo brothers to orchestrate the fake attack, including paying the brothers $4,000 each. Police have not yet definitively confirmed the attack was a hoax, but law enforcement sources in Chicago continue to tell members of the media the investigation is leading detectives to such a conclusion.
In a statement over the weekend, Smollett's attorneys said the actor is "angered and devastated" by reports alleging he faked the attack.