A judge has ordered Google to hand over a full year of Jussie Smollett's emails, location data, search history, photographs, private messages and other information in order to assist the special prosecutor investigating why charges were dropped against the actor who was accused of staging what he claimed was a violent, racially-charged, anti-gay attack against him.
What are the details?
The Chicago Tribune reported that a Cook County judge in Illinois signed off on warrants filed last month for the probe led by special prosecutor David Webb, who is investigating why the office of State's Attorney Kim Foxx dropped all charges against the actor. Webb will also determine "whether to criminally charge Smollett again."
The two warrants requested all Google information from the accounts of both Smollett and his manager from November 2018 to November 2019. Smollett claimed that on the night of Jan. 29 last year that he was jumped by two men wearing MAGA hats who put a noose around his neck and berated him with threats and slurs.
Smollett — who is black and gay — claimed he was the victim of an alleged hate crime, but his story began to unravel after Chicago police investigated and found two "suspects" they had taken into custody for the attack were actually friends of Smollett's who claimed he paid them $3,500 via check to fake the attack.
Evidence backed up the men's claims, and then-CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at the time that when the department discovered Smollett set up the alleged hate crime in hopes of furthering his career, "it pissed everybody off."
TheBlaze's Dave Urbanski reported that in early March 2019, a grand jury indicted Smollett "with 16 counts of disorderly conduct in connection with the staged-attack allegations. But a few weeks later all charges against Smollett were dropped."
The city of Chicago then sued Smollett for $130,000 in order to recover its expenses from his alleged hoax.
The Chicago Police Department is also helping out the special prosecutor, a CBD spokesperson confirmed to The Tribune, conducting "follow-ups" on the department's original investigation.
It is unclear whether Google has yet complied with the warrants. If the special prosecutor does obtain the data, Webb and his team may be able to piece together the details of what truly happened before, during, and after the alleged attack on Jan. 29, 2019 — and how the State's Attorney's office handled it.