Alec Baldwin’s legal team withdrew a motion to have a special prosecutor in the “Rust” case disqualified after Andrea Reeb willingly removed herself, but it used the opportunity to call out the prosecution for “improper” behavior.
Despite withdrawing the motion, Baldwin did not waive his right to bring up the issue of disqualification in the future, according to documents filed with the court March 21. According to the filing, Reeb sent an email June 9, 2022, to the district attorney saying she wanted it to be known she was working on Baldwin’s case as it “might help [her] in [her] campaign.”
Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, called the move by state Rep. Reeb a “further abuse of the system” in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“Rep. Reeb’s prosecution of this case against Mr. Baldwin to advance her political career is a further abuse of the system and yet another violation of Mr. Baldwin’s constitutional rights,” Nikas said.
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Nikas noted that a few things done by the prosecution to this point in the case had violated the actor’s constitutional rights.
The attorney specifically called out the prosecution for including a firearm enhancement in the original charges, making “improper” public statements and Reeb’s “principal role” in the investigation along with the prosecution.
The prosecution made a handful of statements to the media throughout the case, most notably after Baldwin filed a motion to disqualify Reeb and after the DA chose to drop the firearm enhancement.
A spokesperson for the DA told media after the motion was filed that Baldwin’s legal team could “use whatever tactics they want to distract from the fact that Halyna Hutchins died because of gross negligence and reckless disregard for the safety on the ‘Rust’ film set.”
Baldwin’s lawyers argued the statement gave an “opinion on the guilt or innocence” of the actor.
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The filing further accused the DA of implying Baldwin’s guilt with the statement made after the firearm enhancement was dropped.
“In order to avoid further litigious distractions by Mr. Baldwin and his attorneys, the district attorney and the special prosecutor have removed the firearm enhancement to the involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the ‘Rust’ film set,” Heather Brewer, spokesperson for the district attorney, told Fox News Digital at the time.
“The prosecution’s priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys.”
Baldwin’s lawyers claimed all of these “improper” statements “threatened” the “30 Rock” actor’s right to a fair trial.
Legal expert and former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani explained to Fox News Digital that the judge will likely implement a gag order on the defense and prosecution moving forward.
“The defense has been very aggressive in going after District Attorney Carmack-Altwies, who is already on her heels,” Rahmani said. “So, I’m not surprised Baldwin’s lawyers are arguing that her statements are prejudicial. I don’t expect the judge to do anything other than impose a gag order on the parties and lawyers. That’s the usual remedy for out of court statements that may influence potential jurors.”
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The 64-year-old actor was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in January, over a year after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died on the set of “Rust.”
Prosecutors laid out their case against Baldwin in specific detail in the probable cause statement released Jan. 31 and obtained by Fox News Digital.
The DA claimed Baldwin’s decision to skip firearms trainings, lack of safety meetings on set and negligent handling of the gun show he acted in a way that endangered others.
Baldwin has pleaded not guilty. His next hearing is scheduled for March 27, and a preliminary hearing has been set for May 3.