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The cinematographer who was shot and killed by actor Alec Baldwin with a prop gun on Thursday was married to a corporate lawyer employed by a law firm involved in defending an attorney who worked with the 2016 campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Matt Hutchins, the husband of Halyna Hutchins who died shortly after she was shot by Baldwin, is employed in the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins, the law firm representing Michael Sussmann, who was charged in mid-September by special counsel John Durham with one count of lying to the FBI.
Matt Hutchins joined the law firm earlier this year after serving as an in-house attorney at an entertainment company and practiced at Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, according to his LinkedIn profile, Reuters reported.
The newswire added:
Hutchins told news outlets Friday that he had spoken with Baldwin and said the actor was supportive. He could not be immediately reached for comment. A Latham spokesperson declined to comment.
Halyna Hutchins was killed when Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of his Western movie “Rust” in New Mexico. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department said it is investigating the incident, which also left the film’s director, Joel Souza, injured.
Baldwin posted on social media Friday that he was in shock, writing, “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
As for Sussmann, federal prosecutors say that he, as a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm, was untruthful when he offered a tip in 2016 about an alleged secret electronic link between then-GOP presidential contender Donald Turmp’s company and Russia-based Alfa Bank.
The charge against Sussmann was filed as part of special counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of a prior probe by the FBI and former special counsel Robert Mueller into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. Then-Attorney General William Barr put Durham in charge of the investigation in early 2019 after Trump had railed about the Russia inquiry for several years.
Sussmann, a 57-year-old former federal prosecutor, has reportedly denied working for the Clinton campaign. He is accused in the indictment of lying to the FBI’s general counsel during a September 2016 meeting by falsely stating he was not representing any legal client as he relayed the information about a possible electronic link between the Trump Organization and the Alfa Bank.
“In fact, Sussmann assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two clients, including a U.S. technology executive and the Clinton Presidential Campaign,” said Durham’s office said in a statement announcing the indictment after it was returned by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C.
Perkins Coie helped facilitate the creation of the debunked “Russia dossier” on Trump, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. One of the allegations was that Trump’s company was tied to the Russian bank and that he was mixed up in a collusion scheme with the Kremlin to subvert the 2016 presidential race in his favor.
Several investigations by the FBI and congressional committees, including a probe by former special counsel Robert Mueller, did not turn up any evidence supporting the collusion allegation.
Durham was appointed a special counsel by then-Attorney General William Barr in the fall of 2020 as the presidential election approached. Barr appointed him to review the ‘Russiagate’ case several months earlier, and as Durham, then a U.S. attorney, dug deeper, he eventually announced that his probe had turned into a criminal investigation.
Over the course of about 18 months, however, Durham has only secured one conviction: Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, who pleaded guilty to submitting false information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to renew a warrant against former Trump campaign staffer Carter Page.