Former U.S. attorney to serve as special prosecutor in Jussie Smollett case

Actor Jussie Smollett talks to the media before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

A special prosecutor will take a new look at the Jussie Smollett case, CBS Chicago reports. Former U.S. Attorney and Iran-Contra affair special counsel Dan Webb was tapped for the role, marking the sixth time he's been appointed special prosecutor in a case.

Webb said he plans on using a special grand jury to assist in the investigation and that grand jury could decide if new charges are warranted. "I'm starting this thing fresh today," Webb said.

"Early on in the case, I will be setting up interviews with certain witnesses that I think are key witnesses that are important to the case," Webb added.

Advertisement - Story continues below

Smollett is accused of lying to Chicago police, telling them in January that he was beat up and the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime.

Police body camera video from that night showed a rope draped around the actor's neck.

Charges were suddenly dropped against Smollett by Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, who faces re-election. Once Foxx dropped those charges, petitioner Sheila O'Brien, a retired judge, had questions and asked for the special prosecutor.

A judge granted that request, determining that Foxx did not follow procedure when recusing herself from the case.

There is no timeline for Webb's investigation.