After being caught in a lie, could this be the downfall of the shockingly smug Alec Baldwin?
Alec Baldwin says he did not pull the trigger after a gun discharged on a New Mexico movie set and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021.
The FBI says otherwise — Baldwin had to have pulled the trigger for the gun to go off.
The FBI’s claim was contained in a forensic report released by Special Agent Jose Cortez, which was obtained by USA Today.
USA Today’s revelation came Monday, a day before Baldwin appeared on “The Chris Cuomo Project” podcast in an interview apparently recorded before release of the FBI report.
Cuomo asked Baldwin how the gun went off without the trigger being pulled.
Baldwin referred to the concept of “fanning” the gun, a technique often seen in old Western movies, where a revolver is fired by repeatedly pulling back on the hammer without pulling the trigger.
Without directly answering Cuomo’s question, Baldwin implied the gun somehow went off without him pulling the trigger.
However, a separate NewsNation video from April depicting Baldwin rehearsing the scene with the gun just before Hutchins was shot shows Baldwin with his finger on the trigger, and it can be inferred from what the FBI said, this may have resulted in the gun being discharged.
The FBI performed three tests of the gun to see if it could have been accidentally discharged, according to USA Today.
One test had the hammer against the gun, or at rest; another had the hammer both quarter- and half-cocked, and one had the hammer fully cocked.
In those tests, the gun could not discharge “without a pull of the trigger,” the FBI said.
During testing, parts of the trigger sear and cylinder stop failed, allowing the gun to set off the primer.
“This was the only successful discharge during this testing, and it was attributed to the fracture of internal components, not the failure of the firearm or safety mechanisms,” according to the FBI report.
Baldwin told Cuomo, “The person who was the principal safety officer of the film declared in front of the entire assemblage, ‘This is a cold gun.’
“Now, why did he say that, if he didn’t know, if he hadn’t checked?
“The point is all of us were told that everything was cool and that you can relax and that we’re working with a gun that is safe to rehearse with,” Baldwin continued, saying that the safety officer “explained it to me effectively that exactly what can happen if you pull the hammer back and let it go, and there’s a live round.
“You see, there’s only one question to ask here — who put a live round in the gun? That’s it. There is no other question to ask.”
While Baldwin referred to the rogue live round in the gun, his attorney Luke Nikas told USA Today the “critical report is the one from the medical examiner, who concluded that this was a tragic accident.”
Nikas said New Mexico authorities three times have said that Baldwin was unaware of the set having unsafe conditions and that he did not know the gun was unsafe.
The investigation of the incident by Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza remains open, and there has been no announced formal referral to the district attorney’s office.
While the killing of Hutchins and the wounding of director Joel Souza may not result in criminal charges, Baldwin, as producer of the ill-fated movie entitled “Rust,” has been subjected to lawsuits, including one from Hutchins’ husband.
“Nothing is going to bring this woman back. She’s dead. She has a little boy,” Baldwin said.
“This is the real tragedy. Everything we’ve said doesn’t matter — me, the press. My point is, the real tragedy is here is what happened to that woman.”
Baldwin has had a lot to say since the incident, apparently attempting to make sure the public hears his side of the story.
Sometimes, though, perhaps the best course is to let investigations play out and humbly display respect for the victims.
The best way to do that might be to publicly just say nothing.