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Are Far-Right MAGA Republicans Framing Alec Baldwin?

Alex Constantine - February 22, 2023

By Alex Constantine

Actor Alec Baldwin has been circumspect in public and legal proceedings about assigning blame for the killing of Halyna Hutchins on October 21, 2021. Since the death on the set of "Rust" in Sante Fe, New Mexico was reported, the behavior of police and lead prosecutor has been a little off, inexplicably, culminating in a charge of involuntary manslaughter that has left close followers of the case wondering what is in the heads of the authorities.

The motive for framing Baldwin is obvious. He is a well-known leftist with disdain for far-right yahoos and lax gun laws.

He is best known for his Emmy-winning impersonation of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live. Trump wasn't laughing. The actor and the politician feuded publicly for four, to Trump, long years.

But there are other grounds for waging a vendetta against Baldwin.

Slate recalls that he was "touted as a potential Democratic senatorial candidate in New York, he was the main attraction of a bus tour in the Northeast, promoting campaign finance reform. ... Alec makes news with his caustic condemnations: He called Newt Gingrich 'evil' and Alfonse D'Amato 'the bozo pool attendant from Island Park.' After graduating from the State University of New York at Binghamton, Billy [Baldwin] interned for Congressman Tom Downey. Both Billy and Alec have headed the liberal actors' advocacy group the Creative Coalition."

Baldwin is also a vocal proponent of gun control. In a 2018 SNL skit, he humiliated Trump over policy paralysis on guns. Baldwin went so far as to opine that all guns should be confiscated. He has promoted the No Rifle Association Initiative, and appeared in 2016's Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA. Baldwin has tweeted out his support for firearms abolition numerous times.

To a MAGA extremist, this is the profile of a marked man.

A motive takes shape from these few basic facts. Trump's base has been made to believe absurdities and commit atrocities. On his behalf, they attempted to murder Mike Pence, beat police senseless, sacked the Capitol and left fecal deposits in the corridors. One of them subsequently fractured Paul Pelosi's skull. They shoot up synagogues, stalk election officials, and have declared civil war.

Blackening the name Alec Baldwin is something a far-right zealot just might want to do.

Litigious Distractions
Charges against Alec Baldwin were filed on January 31, 2023, and included gun "enhancement" sentencing of five years behind bars. Attorneys for the beleaguered actor argued in a court motion that the enhancement statute didn't exist when the shooting at Bonanza Creek ranch took place. Three weeks after the filing, enhancement was dropped by the far-right, Second Amendment touting special prosecutor.
"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," The statement was nade by Heather Brewer, speaking for New Mexico's First Judicial D.A. Mary Carmack-Altwies. The text was written by the far right special prosecutor.
"The prosecution's priority is securing justice, not securing billable hours for big-city attorneys," she said.  (She also referred to them as "fancy-pants lawyers" in a private e-mail they received from her.)
It wasn't the most convincing legal argument in the world.  Penny-pinching wasn't necessary. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham asked the state legislature to approve $317,700 to pay for the “Rust” prosecution.  So it is unlikely that paying "big city" lawyers to try a relatively simple manslaughter case had anything to do with the decision to downgrade the case against Baldwin.
The Saul Goodmanesque "litigious distraction" orchestrated by defense attorneys was a motion filed with Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer to toss out the enhancement for the simple reason that it violated the Constitution’s “ex post facto” clause
“The prosecutors committed a basic legal error by charging Mr. Baldwin under a version of the firearm-enhancement statute that did not exist on the date of the accident,” wrote Baldwin’s attorneys. They added that under state and federal constitutions, “that version of the statute could not apply to conduct that occurred before it was enacted."
After the motion was filed, the district attorney's office replied that it would "research" the matter to determine if this, to attorneys, well-known legal tenet was applicable. The enhancement was soon dropped, and prospective sentencing was scaled down from five years to 18 months.
"Big city" slickers had nothing to do with the decision to ease up on Baldwin. The prosecution was, or pretended to be, ignorant of a the constitutional provision.
The district attorney overseeing the case is Mary Carmack-Altwies. She is a Democrat, and this has led conservative commentators to conclude that the case against Baldwin is free of right-wing bias. They are dead wrong.
From the start, she has singled the actor out as the focal point of the investigation, and has shown no interest in finding out who sabotaged the production of "Rust" by planting live rounds of ammunition in the prop room. 

In fact, she denies that subterfuge is even possible.

On Nov. 21, 2021, Deadline reported: "Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday, and pushed back on the possibility that the Oct. 21 shooting incident on the Alec Baldwin set of Rust could be an act of sabotage.

“I know that some defense attorneys have come up with conspiracy theories and have used the word ‘sabotage.’ We do not have any proof,” she said. Asked whether sabotage as a possibility, Carmack-Altwies said, 'No.'" ...

Yet: "She would not say how many live rounds were found on the set, but told GMA that they still do not know how they got there. ... She declined to say who loaded the gun, but confirmed that they knew who did. "

Franz Kafka wrote about prosecutors like Carmack-Altwies. Life imitates art.

It wasn't possible to surreptitiously enter a prop room and slip live rounds into a box of blanks?

Baldwin thought so from the start, and he saw the lethargic law enforcement response coming early on. On November 18, 2022, the Albuquerque Journal reported, "weeks after fatally shooting a woman on the set of 'Rust,' actor Alec Baldwin messaged the dead woman’s husband that the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office 'may lack both the skill and the will' to investigate whether the shooting was an act of sabotage. … '  The messages from Baldwin to widower Matt Hutchins were detailed in investigative reports released by the sheriff’s office on Friday. ...

"Baldwin told Matt Hutchins, according to the report, he initially dismissed sabotage claims but he was told the sheriff’s office agenda 'is to write it off as an accident and throw it to the civil courts. The more information that is presented to me about certain anomalies on that day, the more open minded I become,' Baldwin wrote. “… I hope these NM have the sense to follow it through.'"

Mary Carmack-Altwies may be a Democrat, but she is either hopelessly irrational or severely compromised.

Her credibility collapsed further in August, 2022 when she appointed Andrea Reeb -- a Republican representative in the state legislature who boasts, "I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and I am 100% pro-life" -- to the position of special prosecutor in the Baldwin case.

Reeb's campaign slogan in the last election cycle: "Restoring Freedom." Not Baldwin's, of course.

Once again, his attorneys fell back on a irksome "litigious distraction" by citing basic constitutional law. In a court motion filed on February 7, Baldwin’s lawyers argued that the New Mexico Constitution’s separation of powers provision prohibits Reeb from serving as both a prosecutor and state legislator.

You'd think this cornerstone constitutional principle would occur to Santa Fe's district attorney before she appointed a far-right Republican politician to try a left-wing agitator like Baldwin.

She really should have given that some thought before pulling the trigger.

RELATED:  "How did live rounds get onto the set of Alec Baldwin's 'Rust'?"


Variety, March 24, 3023: Baldwin's Prosecution as Campaign Donation -

...The original prosecutor, Andrea Reeb, stepped down two weeks ago after Baldwin’s lawyers argued that she could not simultaneously serve as a legislator.

Reeb, a Republican state representative, has denied that political considerations played a role in the case. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that Reeb sent the D.A. an email last year asking her to publicize Reeb’s involvement in the case, “as it might help in my campaign lol.”

Baldwin’s lawyers have called the prosecution a “terrible miscarriage of justice.” In a filing earlier this week, they wrote that the email shows that Reeb engaged in a “further abuse of the system” by using the case to advance her political career. ...


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