Alec Baldwin’s attorneys claim email sent by ex-prosecutor indicates political motive - Albuquerque Journal

Alec Baldwin’s attorneys claim email sent by ex-prosecutor indicates political motive

This aerial photo shows the movie set of “Rust” at Bonanza Creek Ranch where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot in October 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Attorneys for actor Alec Baldwin this week continued to slam the former special prosecutor in the “Rust” movie shooting case, now suggesting that she used the role to advance her political career.

A motion filed Tuesday by Baldwin’s attorneys cited a New York Times report about a private email the former special prosecutor, Andrea Reeb, sent in June suggesting that the high-profile post could help her bid for the state House of Representatives.

Reeb was named special prosecutor in August, about three months before the Clovis Republican won her House seat.

She said Wednesday her decision to take the job of special prosecutor was “in no way politically motivated” and had no influence on her election to the state Legislature.

Reeb stepped down March 14 as special prosecutor in the case against Baldwin, who was holding a gun that discharged on the “Rust” movie set Oct. 21, 2021, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The latest dispute involves an email Reeb sent in June to 1st Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, according to emails obtained by the Times through a New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act request.

Baldwin’s attorneys cited the email in a motion filed Tuesday in the case.

Reeb discussed her potential role as special prosecutor in a June 9 email with Carmack-Alwies.

“At some point though, I’d at least like to get out there that I am assisting you … as it might help in my campaign lol.”

Carmack-Altwies responded by email: “I am intending to either introduce you or send it in a press release when we get the investigation.”

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office submitted its investigative findings to the DA’s office in October.

The District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on Wednesday.

Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s attorney, said in the motion that Reeb played a “principal role in the investigation and prosecution” of Baldwin, and the emails are evidence that she had political motives for pursuing the case.

“Representative 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 wrote.

Contacted on Wednesday, Reeb said the allegation by Baldwin’s attorneys is an attempt “to deflect their client’s situation on to me and everyone else” and divert attention from Baldwin’s role in Hutchins’ shooting death.

“I was elected in November and charges were not announced until January, well after I was elected,” Reeb responded in an email. “Not once, do I recall, speaking to the press about this case during my campaign.”

The focus of the case needs to remain on Baldwin’s role in Hutchins’ death, she said.

“Everyone needs to get back to what happened here, Alec Baldwin killed Ms. Hutchins,” Reeb wrote. “Bring justice to the victim.”

The new allegations continue a months-long dispute between Baldwin’s attorneys and prosecutors.

The dispute heated up over the specific criminal charges Baldwin faces in Hutchins’ shooting death.

Carmack-Altwies initially charged Baldwin on Jan. 31 with involuntary manslaughter. The most serious of the charges carried a mandatory five-year prison sentence under the state’s current firearm-enhancement statute.

Baldwin’s attorneys objected that prosecutors had charged Baldwin under a law that was not enacted until seven months after Hutchins’ death.

Prosecutors changed course Feb. 13 and downgraded the involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin, dropping the possibility of a mandatory five-year sentence.

The remaining alternative standard now requires proof of negligence and is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine under New Mexico law.

Baldwin’s attorneys also filed a motion in February asking state District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer to disqualify Reeb as special prosecutor. The motion alleged that Reeb violated the state Constitution’s separation-of-powers provision by serving as both a prosecutor and a legislator.

Reeb stepped down March 14 to allow the prosecution to “focus on the evidence and the facts,” Reeb said at the time. “I will not allow questions about my serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand,” she said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this report misspelled Luke Nikas’ name.

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