By R. Cort Kirkwood
Being fired from Empire isn’t the only bad news actor Jussie Smollet has received lately.
Thanks to search warrants and a court order, Google must turn over the actor’s e-mails and other records to a special prosecutor who is probing the hate-crime hoax Smollett perpetrated on the city.
Smollett is not the only target of the data search. The special prosecutor’s gumshoes will also look at the recipients of those e-mails, including Smollett’s manager.
But Smollett, of course, is the reason they’re looking. He manufactured a tall tale of hate, slurs, and violence, got caught, and now, it appears, will pay the price.
Turn Them Over
The trouble for Smollett began when he falsely claimed that two white men attacked him in the wee hours of January 29, 2019. Smollett claimed he was returning from a 2 a.m. munchies run to the Subway restaurant when the white men accosted him, called him racist and “homophobic” names, and doused him with bleach.
Police found out that the “white men” were two Nigerian brothers to whom Smollett paid $3,500 to stage the attack. Cops charged the actor with 16 felonies, which prosecutors mysteriously dropped after a supposed deal with Smollett. Then the city sued Smollett for more than $130,000 to recoup the money spent to investigate his harrowing yarn.
The genesis of the latest court order is the special prosecutor, former U.S. attorney Dan Webb. Cook County Judge Michael Toomin appointed Webb to investigate the case because Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself from the Smollett hoax prosecution, and then appointed her deputy to handle it.
Toomin ruled that Foxx did not have the statutory authority to name her own replacement in such a matter.
And now comes Toomin’s latest order. Toomin, the Chicago Tribune has reported, “ordered Google to turn over Jussie Smollett’s emails, photos, location data and private messages for an entire year as part of the special prosecutor’s investigation into the purported attack on the actor.”
Two warrants, filed in December, seek a “a trove of documentation from Smollett and his manager’s Google accounts — not just emails but also drafted and deleted messages; any files in their Google Drive cloud storage services; any Google Voice texts, calls and contacts; search and web browsing history; and location data.”
The request will certainly produce a wealth of data:
Investigators sought a full year’s data — from November 2018 to November 2019 — even though the key events in the controversy took place between late January and late March 2019. Authorities could be looking for any incriminating remarks from Smollett or his manager, especially in the months after State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office abruptly dismissed disorderly conduct charges against the then-“Empire” actor just weeks after his indictment. Smollett, who is African American and openly gay, has declared the dismissal a vindication of his claims that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.
The judge ordered Google not to disclose what it turns over because it “may jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation.”
Smollett’s in Trouble
That’s very bad news for Smollett, who likely thought he’d get away with it.
“Toomin gave Webb a broad mandate to investigate all aspects of the case — not only its initial handling by Foxx’s office but also whether to criminally charge Smollett again,” the Tribune reported.
And police might just learn that “revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold.” More than a year after their frustrated attempt to bring the actor to justice, they’re helping Webb uncover the facts — not that they don’t know what happened.
In other words, Smollett might be in more trouble than he thinks. So might Foxx, given that her dismissing the charges, which infuriated the police chief, was senseless. The cops requested a federal probe.
As for other consequences of Smollett’s deceit, which sent the nation into yet another hate-Trump, hate-MAGA conniption, the actor lost his role on Take Me Out, a play about a mixed-race homosexual baseball player.
And two days ago, Fox News reported that he will “not return” for the last season of Empire.
As The New American reported after Smollett’s hate-crime hoax fell apart, he has a record of lying to cops. In 2007, Smollett pleaded no contest to drunk driving, driving without a license, and “providing false information to law enforcement.”
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