The best way to make a bad situation worse is to lie about what happened. Because more often than not, the truth comes out, and when it does, the offending party is not only responsible for the original misdeed but is now broadly viewed as a liar, to boot.
The cover-up, as they say, is always worse than the crime.
It appears Alec Baldwin is learning this lesson firsthand, as this week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) concluded that the gun the 64-year-old actor was holding on the set of the movie “Rust” could “not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger,” as NPR reported.
This new development directly contradicts Baldwin’s assertion that he did not pull the trigger of the single-action .45 Colt replica that discharged the live round that fatally wounded cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on Oct. 21, 2021, at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Bonanza City, New Mexico.
As Baldwin told ABC News in December, “Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger.”
In light of the FBI’s ballistic report, Baldwin still hasn’t changed his story.
On Monday, in an interview with Chris Cuomo, Baldwin doubled down on the notion that he was not responsible.
“I know that every single person on the set of the film knows what happened, and the people who are talking loudest about what happened or speculating about what happened were not on the set of the film,” Baldwin told Cuomo, who was fired from CNN last year and now hosts the Chris Cuomo Project.
“Everybody who was there, they know exactly what happened,” Baldwin added. “They know exactly who’s to blame.”
Baldwin has not yet been charged with a crime.
But Bradford Cohen, a criminal lawyer and licensed firearms instructor, told Newsweek that the FBI’s findings “screams consciousness of guilt” and indicated that an indictment is long overdue.
“Common gun safety in any circumstance, let alone pointing a firearm and pulling the trigger, is to check the firearm,” Cohen said.
“Actors don’t suddenly become less responsible because they are actors. If this was a rap video, charges would have already been filed,” he added.
Though Baldwin has avoided any criminal liability thus far, he has been named in at least three lawsuits, including one filed on behalf of Mrs. Hutchins’ family that accuses Baldwin and the other producers of the movie of “reckless behavior and cost-cutting” that created unsafe working conditions.
Luke Nikas, the attorney representing Baldwin, has maintained that his client was told by the person responsible for safety on the set that the gun was “cold.”
Nikas also said in a statement that the FBI report is being “misconstrued.”
“The gun fired in testing only one time—without having to pull the trigger—when the hammer was pulled back and the gun broke in two different places,” alleged Nikas. “The FBI was unable to fire the gun in any prior test, even when pulling the trigger, because it was in such poor condition.”
The investigation is still ongoing. Once it’s completed, the case will be handed over to the district attorney’s office for review to see if any charges should be filed against Mr. Baldwin, per NPR.