Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ prosecutor Andrea Rieb resigns

Alec Baldwin at the Hamptons International Film Festival on October 7, 2021.

Mark Saglioco | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

special prosecutor in “rust” manslaughter case against the actor alec baldwin A co-defendant resigned Tuesday after Baldwin’s lawyers argued New Mexico’s constitution barred her from holding that position while serving as a state legislator.

“I will not let questions about my role as a lawmaker and prosecutor overshadow the real issues at hand,” special counsel Andrea Reeb said in a surprise statement.

Reeb recuses after weeks of resistance to the idea by Reeb and Mary Carmack-Altwies, the 1st Judicial District Attorney who appointed her.

This is the second major setback case In October 2021, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins confronts Baldwin after an accidental fatal shooting on the set of the film Rusty.

Reeb, who has served as district attorney elsewhere in New Mexico, initially charged Baldwin and original “Rust” arms dealer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed in January with alleged firearm enhancements. If the defendant is convicted, that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

But Ribb backed away from that improvement after acknowledging to Baldwin’s lawyers by email that she had misapplied a law that only came into effect after Hutchins was killed.

“After much consideration, I have made the difficult decision to resign as Special Counsel in the ‘Rust’ case,” Rieb said in her statement Tuesday. In every case prosecuted at age 25 — years of career — justice has been done for victims.”

“However, it is clear that the best way I can ensure justice in this case is to step down so the prosecution can focus on the evidence and the facts, which clearly show that a complete disregard for basic safety protocols contributed to the death of Halyna Hutchins, “she says.

The First Judicial District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Baldwin’s defense attorneys filed a motion last month asking the judge to remove Rieb from the case.

The lawyers argue that New Mexico’s constitution expressly prohibits people from holding office in one branch of government while exercising the powers of another.

CNBC reached out to one of Baldwin’s attorneys on Tuesday, Luke Nikas, who did not comment directly on Rieb’s statement.

But Nikas pointed CNBC to the reasoning behind his motion to disqualify Reeb.

In that regard, he had argued, “There can be no doubt that Representative Rib’s simultaneous role as legislator and prosecutor violates both the express letter and the purpose of the Separation of Powers Clause of the New Mexico Constitution.”

This is breaking news. Please check for updates.

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