Judge orders Google to turn over Jussie Smollett's emails

May 30th 2019 - Chicago police are preparing to release a trove of documents relating to the Jussie Smollett alleged hate crime hoax. Addition to the following from March 26th 2019 - All charges have been dropped against Jussie Smollett. In a stunning move on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, prosecutors in Cook County, Chicago, Illinois have dropped all charges against actor Jussie Smollett who had been accused of staging a hate crime attack against himself in downtown Chicago on January 29th. - March 14th 2019 - Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty in Cook County court to 16 counts of disorderly conduct, maintaining his innocence amid allegations as detailed below that he faked an attack against himself. - March 8th 2019 - Jussie Smollett has been indicted on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct by a Cook County (Illinois) grand jury in connection with the January 29th incident in which he claimed he was the victim of an attack. Following below, these charges allege that Smollett orchestrated the attack and filed false reports of a crime. - February 21st 2019 - Jussie Smollett is under arrest in custody of Chicago police. He has been charged with Disorderly Conduct / Filing A False Police Report in connection with the January 29th incident in which he claimed he was the victim of an attack. Following below, these charges allege that Smollett orchestrated the attack. - February 18th 2019 - The investigation of the alleged attack on actor Jussie Smollett continues with new evidence suggesting that Smollett may have orchestrated the attack. Smollett continues to deny any involvement in said orchestration according to a statement from his attorneys. Update to the following - January 29th 2019 - Actor Jussie Smollett was the victim of an attack in Chicago, Illinois which is being investigated as a possible hate crime. According to police reports, he was assaulted after leaving a fast food restaurant by two men in ski masks who made racial and homophobic slurs and then poured an unknown liquid on Smollett and put a noose around his neck. Smollett identifies himself as a gay man and his mother is African-American. Further reports claim Smollett told police that his attackers touted "MAGA" (Make America Great Again) during the assault. Smollett said that he fought off the attackers and then admitted himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital from which he was released "in good condition" later that morning. - File Photo by: zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 5/14/18 Jussie Smollett at The 2018 Fox Network Upfront in New York City. (NYC)

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge has ordered Google to turn over a year's worth of Jussie Smollett's emails, private messages, photographs and location data to a special prosecutor who is looking into why prosecutors abruptly dismissed criminal charges against the actor.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that it had obtained two search warrants submitted by special prosecutor Dan Webb and signed off by Cook County Judge Michael Toomin last month.

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. Toomin appointed Webb months later and the warrants offer the first public hints about what he has been investigating.

When the charges were filed, Chicago police alleged the black and openly gay Smollett — unhappy with his salary and hoping to promote his career — paid two brothers to stage what appeared to be a racist and homophobic attack, in which one of the men looped a rope fashioned as a noose around his neck.

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.

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.

It remains unclear if Google has turned over the information. In approving the warrants, Toomin ordered Google not to disclose the order, saying that doing so “may jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation”. A Google spokesman told the Tribune that he could not comment on requests for records from law enforcement.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed the department is conducting 'follow-ups" of its initial investigation but he declined to comment further. An attorney who tried to block the appointment of the special prosecutor and another attorney representing Smollett in a federal civil case did not immediately return calls for comment.