Jussie Smollett now facing felony criminal charges; AOC slammed after Amazon pullout from NYC deal

Welcome to Fox News First. Not signed up yet? Click here.

Developing now, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019

FELONY CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST JUSSIE SMOLLETT APPROVED, CHICAGO POLICE SAY: Authorities in Chicago on Wednesday approved felony criminal charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, hours after he was "officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation" for allegedly "filing a false police report" in connection with his Jan. 29 attack claims, police said.

The update in the case was provided on Twitter by Anthony Guglielmi, the department's chief communications officer, who said the Cook County State's Attorney's Office approved the "Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report" charges.

  • WATCH: Jussie Smollett’s legal team releases statement  
  • WATCH: Attorney for Nigerian brothers in the Jussie Smollett case says her clients have cooperated ‘from day one’
  • Deroy Murdock: Jussie Smollett ‘attack’ melts down as leftists self-immolate

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

OCASIO-CORTEZ SLAMMED ON BILLBOARD OVER ANTI-AMAZON PUSH IN NEW YORK CITY: ‘THANKS FOR NOTHING’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting some negative reviews in her home city.

Fresh off helping drive Amazon’s planned headquarters out of New York City, the rising Democratic star has inspired a billboard in Times Square.

“Amazon Pullout, Thanks for Nothing, AOC,” the billboard, located on 42nd Street near Eighth Avenue, reads. The high-visibility blast is funded by the Job Creators Network and will be up for all to see until next Wednesday.

  • WATCH: Conservative group buys Times Square billboard bashing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over Amazon NYC pullout
  • Sen. Dick Durbin teases Green New Deal sponsors: ‘What in the heck is this?’
  • Ocasio-Cortez goes on tear defending role in Amazon’s New York exit

MUELLER PROBE 'NEAR THE END GAME' AMID SHAKEUP AT DOJ, SOURCES SAY: Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe is wrapping up soon, and a source familiar with the investigation tells Fox News it is "near the end game" -- although there has been no formal notification to President Trump's legal team that Mueller's work is completed.

Exiting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the Mueller probe for 18 months until the recent confirmation of AG William Barr, had said privately he intended to remain in his role until the Mueller report was delivered to Congress. On Tuesday, the White House announced that Deputy Secretary of Transportation Jeff Rosen would replace Rosenstein.

  • House Dems to challenge Trump emergency declaration on Friday
  • Lawsuit claims Trump campaign nondisclosure agreements are unlawful
  • Michael Cohen testimony before House Oversight Committee rescheduled for Feb. 27

LARA LOGAN TELLS ‘HANNITY’ ABOUT RAMPANT LIBERAL, ANTI-TRUMP BIAS ACROSS NEWS MEDIA: ‘NOBODY OWNS ME’: Former CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan appeared on Fox News' "Hannity" on Wednesday night to speak about what she claims is a rampant liberal and anti-Trump bias across the news media, but she proclaimed she is independent from the political spectrum.

“I want to say loudly and clearly: Nobody owns me,” she told host Sean Hannity. She said she doesn’t pretend not to have opinions, but the former war journalist said she refuses to fall into dishonesty.

KAMALA HARRIS’ DAD SAYS PARENTS ARE ‘TURNING IN THEIR GRAVE’ OVER HER COMMENTS ON WEED AND BEING JAMAICAN: The father of Sen. Kamala Harris is trying to distance himself from the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful after she said her pot smoking in college stemmed from her Jamaican heritage.

Harris, D-Calif., told the nationally syndicated radio show "The Breakfast Club" earlier this month that she supports marijuana legalization at the federal level, and acknowledged that she's smoked pot in the past, saying: “I have. And I inhaled. I did inhale.”

  • WATCH: Heavy cannabis use linked to strange syndrome

THE SOUNDBITE

THE COMEY PLAYBOOK – “We’re learning that he wants to sell books. This is the Comey playbook: You get fired, you write a book, you make up salacious allegations, and you do a massive media tour. It’s no surprise, but I think we’ve got to remember who Andrew McCabe is. Investigators felt as though he mislead them. They said – the inspector general said, he lacked candor with them. And so this is a gentleman who has a history of misleading investigators, of not being straightforward, and so now he’s doing everything he can to sell as many books as he can and make as much money.” – Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, appearing on “America’s Newsroom,” discussing former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s whirlwind media tour. WATCH

TODAY’S MUST-READS

Pompeo: ISIS wife from Alabama will not be admitted to the US

Georgia woman, 79, reportedly shoots at suspected home intruder: ‘I got something for you’

Wisconsin high school cheerleaders received awards for biggest breasts, butt at banquet

Swalwell bypasses coffee inside Trump Tower, tweets about it

Tax service turns away gay couple, citing Indiana’s ‘religious freedom’ law

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

Uber Eats devouring McDonald’s franchise owners’ profits: ‘Bar Rescue’s’ Jon Taffer

Macy’s, Kohl’s ‘becoming yesterday’s news’: Former Toys R US CEO

Warren’s ‘wealth tax’ to face host of challenges

Pepsi’s new CEO just made his first big move

STAY TUNED

On Fox Nation

What Made America Great, Season 2 – Brian Kilmeade travels to historic places and relives the biggest events that shaped our amazing country. Watch a preview of the show now

Not a subscriber? Click here to join Fox Nation today!

On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: FNC correspondent Matt Finn discussing Smollett; Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., on demanding answers from the FBI about McCabe; William Kelly, “Citizen Kelly” radio show host, on why Smollett owes Chicagoans an apology; FNC correspondent Griff Jenkins reports live from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; Pat Williams, co-founder and Sr. VP of NBA’s Orlando Magic, discusses new book; Brady Toensing, vice chair of the Vermont Republican Party, on prospects for Bernie Sanders’ presidential run; Reid Lehman, CEO of Miracle Hill Ministries, on Christian adoption agency taking New York to court; Talking Points w/ Michelle Malkin, investigative reporter; nationally syndicated radio host, Dana Loesch; Robert Charles, fmr. assistant secretary of state to Colin Powell, on Alabama woman turned ISIS bride; Spencer Brown of Young America’s Foundation, on the most bizarre and politically correct college courses of 2019; Steven Camarota, research director, Center for Immigration Studies, on new study, half a million illegal aliens projected to enter U.S. this year; Chris Wilson, director of research, analytics and digital strategy for Ted Cruz presidential campaign, on 2020 Democratic hopefuls and socialism; Army Staff Sgt. Skyler Cooper and Wife Cydney on Kansas soldier surprising wife and newborn twins in viral video.

Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner, 1 p.m. ET:  Guest: Noelle Nikpour, Republican strategist, former congressional candidate.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4 p.m. ET: Guests: Doug Burns, former federal prosecutor; Jess Tarlov, FNC contributor, Democratic strategist.

Special Report with Bret Baier, 6 p.m. ET: Guest: Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst.

The Story with Martha MacCallum, 7 p.m. ET: Guest: Tim Tebow

Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8 p.m. ET: Guests: Greg Gutfeld; Dana Perino.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: “Putin Threatens the U.S. During Address” -- In his State of the Nation Address, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin threatened to aim their new hypersonic missiles at the United States if provoked. FOX News Contributor and former CIA Chief of Station Daniel Hoffman explains why we should be paying attention.

The Trump administration wants the State of California to return $2.5 billion spent on a scaled-back high-speed train project and also wants the $929 million left in the fund. California state Sen. Shannon Grove and Cal State economics professor Robert Krol weigh in on the Trump administration’s decision.

Plus, commentary by Christian Whiton, senior fellow at the Center for the National Interest.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Guests include: Steve Doocy; Chris Wallace; Mary O’Grady; Jenna Lee; Pat Williams to discuss the latest in the Mueller investigation, Jussie Smollett, and the 2020 race.

The Todd Starnes Show, Noon ET: Todd speaks with Wisconsin Judge Brian Hagedorn about why he's under attack for being a Christian, and Debbie D’Souza gives her firsthand account of how socialism can damage a country.

#OnThisDay

2000: Consumer advocate Ralph Nader announces his entry into the presidential race, bidding for the nomination of the Green Party.

1975: Former Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman are sentenced to 2-1/2 to 8 years in prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up (each ended up serving a year-and-a-half).

1972: President Richard M. Nixon begins his historic visit to China as he and his wife, Pat, arrive in Beijing.

1965: Black Muslim leader and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, is shot to death inside Harlem's Audubon Ballroom in New York City by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam. (Three men are later convicted of murder and imprisoned; all are eventually paroled.)

1945: During the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima, the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea is sunk by kamikazes, resulting in 318 deaths.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this edition. Thank you for joining us! Have a good day! We'll see you in your inbox first thing Friday morning.