Alec Baldwin’s lawyer filed a motion on Tuesday to disqualify the special prosecutor in the “Rust” case, arguing she cannot simultaneously serve as a prosecutor and a state legislator.
Andrea Reeb was brought in last year by the First Judicial District Attorney in Santa Fe to assist on the “Rust” case. Reeb, a Republican, had previously served as the elected prosecutor in the state’s Ninth Judicial District.
In November, she was elected to the state House of Representatives.
Baldwin was charged last week with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
In the motion filed on Tuesday, Baldwin’s lawyers argue that the state constitution’s separation of powers provision prohibits Reeb from serving as a prosecutor and as a state lawmaker.
“Doing so vests two core powers of different branches — legislating and prosecuting — in the same person and is thus barred by the plain language of Article III of the New Mexico Constitution,” Baldwin’s lawyers wrote.
Baldwin’s lawyers argue that Reeb’s position as a state lawmaker could influence her prosecutorial decisions.
“Were the arrangement here approved by the courts, future District Attorneys could seek to curry favor with legislators who control their budgets by appointing them to high-profile cases — distorting the legislative process,” they argued.
In her executive budget recommendation last month, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham asked the Legislature to approve an additional $317,700 to pay for the “Rust” prosecution.
Baldwin’s lawyers argue that even if Reeb recuses herself from voting on that request, her fellow lawmakers might be inclined to support continuing to fund Reeb’s salary as a special prosecutor.
In a separate motion, Baldwin’s lawyers asked prosecutors to turn over discovery material and asked for a “speedy trial,” in order to “minimize public vilification and suspicion.”
Baldwin and co-defendant Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer on “Rust,” are due to make their initial appearance on the charges on Feb. 24 via Google Meet. That hearing is expected to be broadcast on the court’s YouTube channel.