Special prosecutor calls for release of full report on Jussie Smollett investigation
Special Prosecutor Dan Webb’s report on the handling of the “Empire” actor’s case by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office has been under seal since August 2020.
Less than a week after securing guilty verdicts against Jussie Smollett, Special Prosecutor Dan Webb Wednesday called for the release of his full report into the controversial handling of the “Empire” actor’s case by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office.
Webb, who was appointed special prosecutor in 2019 to probe the fake hate crime as well as the decision by Foxx’s office to drop a 16-count indictment against Smollett, filed a motion with Judge Michael Toomin.
A hearing is set for Monday in front of Toomin, who appointed Webb to lead the Smollett investigation, which resulted in a new, six-count indictment against the actor and a report that found Foxx’s office abused its prosecutorial discretion in dropping the case and that Foxx and other top deputies made false statements to the public about how it was handled.
Webb found no evidence of criminal misconduct by Foxx and her staff in the office’s decision to drop the charges.
Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office, said she could not comment on Webb’s motion Wednesday since the “matter is pending litigation.”
Webb’s team in August 2020 released a 12-page summary of his report, but Toomin sealed the complete report citing concerns about grand jury material in the longer version.
Since Smollett, 39, was found guilty on five of six counts of disorderly conduct, Webb’s motion states there is no longer a reason to keep the entire report sealed.
“I filed this motion today because now that the Smollett trial ended with a conviction, the assignment given to my special prosecutor’s office by Judge Michael Toomin are almost complete,” Webb told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I am in possession of a 60-page detailed evidence report that supports the factual conclusions that I publicly released to the public. Since the Smollett trial is final, I believe the public is entitled to see my 60-page evidence report.”
Smollett hired brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, to assault him during a staged racist and homophobic attack on a frigid night in January 2019.
Smollett’s crime was not the hoax itself, but lying that the attack was real to Chicago police.