(CTN News) – The lawyer for Alec Baldwin filed a motion on Tuesday seeking to disqualify the special prosecutor in the “Rust” case, arguing that she cannot serve as both a prosecutor and a legislator.
The First Judicial District Attorney in Santa Fe hired Andrea Reeb last year to assist with the “Rust” case. Republican Reeb was previously elected prosecutor in the Ninth Judicial District of the state.
She was elected to the state House of Representatives in November.
As a result of Halyna Hutchins’ death last week, Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
The motion filed on Tuesday argues that the state constitution’s separation of powers provision prevents Reeb from serving as both a prosecutor and a state legislator.
According to -Alec Baldwin attorneys, doing so would entrust two core functions of two separate branches – legislating and prosecuting – to the same individual, and thus violate Article III of the New Mexico Constitution.
Reeb’s position as a legislator may influence her decision to prosecute, according to Alec Baldwin attorneys.
By maintaining the current arrangement, future District Attorneys may seek to curry favor with legislators who control their budgets by appointing them to high-profile cases, thus distorting the legislative process.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham requested the Legislature approve an additional $317,700 to support the prosecution of “Rust”.
According to Baldwin’s attorneys, even if Reeb recuses herself from voting on the request, her colleagues may be inclined to support continuing to fund Reeb’s salary.
Tuesday afternoon, the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office described Alec Baldwin motion as a distraction.
I am Mr. Alec Baldwin and his attorneys may use whatever tactics they deem appropriate in order to distract from the fact that Halyna Hutchins died as a result of gross negligence and a reckless disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set, according to Heather Brewer, a spokesperson for the office.
Nevertheless, the district attorney and the special prosecutor are committed to pursuing justice in this case.
It has previously been stated by the D.A.’s office that Reeb’s role as a state legislator will not impair her ability to thoroughly and effectively fulfill her role as special prosecutor in the Rust case.
According to the office, Andrea would recuse herself from voting if any legislation before the House created a conflict of interest for her.
Separately, Baldwin’s lawyers asked prosecutors to turn over discovery materials and requested a “speedy trial” to minimize “public vilification.”
Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who played the armorer on “Rust,” will appear in court on Feb. 24 via Google Meet. It is expected that the hearing will be broadcast on the court’s YouTube channel.