A judge has ordered Google to turn over a year’s worth of emails, private messages, photographs and location data of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett to a special prosecutor, the AP reports. The prosecutor is looking into why officials in Chicago abruptly dismissed criminal charges against Smollett.
The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that it had obtained two search warrants submitted last month by special prosecutor Dan Webb and signed by Cook County Judge Michael Toomin.
“Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office filed and quickly dropped 16 counts of disorderly conduct against Smollett for allegedly staging a January 2019 attack in downtown Chicago and lying about it to police,” the AP notes. “Toomin appointed Webb months later and the warrants offer the first public hints about what he has been investigating.”
Smollett had been accused of staging an attack in Chicago that he alleged was racist and homophobic.
“In the warrants, Webb seeks information from the Google accounts of Smollett and his manager, including unsent draft emails and deleted messages. He also requests files from their Google Drive cloud storage services, Google Voice texts, and web browsing history,” the AP reports, adding: “Webb has not publicly discussed the investigation and Smollett has maintained his innocence. But the fact the warrants seek data between November 2018 and November 2019 suggests investigators could be trying to support the original police allegation that Smollett planned and helped stage a fake attack.”