There are new developments to report in the Jussie Smollett saga.
After falling out of the headlines for several weeks, a wave of new developments has emerged as a special prosecutor’s investigation of the case and its aftermath enters its third month.
Foxx hires private attorneys
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has hired high-priced private attorneys to represent herself and her office as former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb leads a court-ordered investigation of Smollett’s purported hate crime case and the way Foxx’s office handled the matter.
Foxx hired the former chief federal judge in Chicago, Ruben Castillo, to handle the Webb inquiry for her office. Despite claiming to be the most transparent prosecutor in Cook County history, Foxx’s office refused to reveal how much the taxpayers are paying Castillo for his services.
The Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday that Castillo is billing the county $250 to $375 per hour for his work on the matter. Castillo called those rates “deeply discounted,” the Tribune said.
Meanwhile, Foxx has personally hired high-priced Washington DC-based attorney Michael Bromwich to represent her individual interests in the Webb probe.
A Foxx spokesperson told the Tribune that neither the taxpayers nor Foxx’s campaign is paying Bromwich’s bills. Notably, the spokesperson did not say who is paying.
Wide-ranging search warrants
A Cook County judge on Dec. 6 signed a search warrant that requires Google to give Webb’s investigators a full year of data from Smollett’s personal accounts. Among the materials mentioned explicitly as being subject to the warrant are texts, emails, photographs, Google Drive contents, web browsing history, detailed records of where Smollett traveled with his phone, and more.
A separate warrant seeks identical information from Frank Gatson, a choreographer and friend of Smollett who made the 911 call that summoned police to Gatson’s Streeterville apartment where Smollett sought help minutes after the purported hate crime.
Read CWBChicago’s previous coverage of the Jussie Smollett case here.