CHICAGO (AP) - A police official says lawyers for Jussie Smollett are meeting with prosecutors and police investigators about the reported attack on the "Empire" actor late last month.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the meeting was taking place Wednesday afternoon. He declined to confirm reports that subpoenas had been issued for Smollett's phone and bank records.
Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men while walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. He says they beat him, hurled racist and homophobic insults at him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing.
Police couldn't find surveillance video of the attack but questioned two men who were initially deemed as suspects, but who were released Friday. On Saturday, Guglielmi said information from the men had "shifted" the investigation and that police want to speak to Smollett again.
On Tuesday, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx has officially recused herself from the Jussie Smollett case, according to Chicago police.
Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats is taking over the case.
Also on Tuesday, the two brothers from Nigeria and their lawyer went before prosecutors and police at the Cook County courthouse. The brothers and their attorney were ushered in and out of the building in total secrecy – treatment rarely granted by prosecutors and usually reserved for celebrities like the time Oprah Winfrey went there for jury duty.
Attorney Gloria Schmidt was seen walking out of a room marked “Grand Jury” and when asked about her clients, she said she simply had no comment.
Police tell FOX 32 the brothers did not testify before a grand jury. Police also say the brothers are cooperating as it appears they are trying to build a case against Smollett.
Meanwhile, federal investigators are still investigating the hate letter that was sent to Smollett at the “Empire” studios. That is a separate investigation from the one conducted by Chicago police. If the feds find that Smollett did send that letter to himself and can prove it, he could also be facing federal charges separate from the case that Chicago PD is building.
Foxx recusing herself comes on the same day CPD investigated but dismissed a tip that on the night "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett reported being attacked by two masked men, he was in an elevator of his apartment building with the two brothers later arrested and released from custody in the probe, a department spokesman said Tuesday.
Former Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez took shots at her successor's recusal Wednesday, writing on her public Facebook page: "Maybe I should have just recused myself from the difficult cases that came across my desk when I was State's Attorney. I was under the impression that when the voters elected me and I took my oath of office it meant I had to do my job."