December 15, 2020
We’ve reported for months how George Soros-funded St. Louis Circuit Prosecutor Kim Gardner wrongfully prosecuted St. Louis attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey for political purposes rather than in the name of law and order. Now, months after the incident where the McCloskeys protected their property from a large mob loudly marching down the private sidewalk of their home, a judge has kicked her and her staff off Mark McCloskey’s case.
Thomas Clark II, the St. Louis circuit judge hearing the case, dismissed Gardner, citing two campaign fundraising emails around the time she filed felony gun charges against the couple in July. “In short, the Circuit Attorney’s conduct raises the appearance that she initiated a criminal prosecution for political purposes,” Clark wrote.
The dismissal brought a quick response from one of the couple’s attorneys, Al Watkins. “Prosecutors are held to a higher standard legally, ethically and politically,” Watkins said in a text reported in The Washington Times. “When you swing and miss on all three, you have to hit the lockers.”
The dismissal of Gardner from the case was a long time in coming. Not only was the prosecution always about a liberal, anti-gun prosecutor trying to make an example of the McCloskeys, Gardner’s malfeasance concerning in case from the very beginning has been noteworthy.
As Judge Clark mentioned, in early August, Gardner used the case in a fund-raising effort to raise money for her reelection campaign. According to court records, the fundraising email to Gardner supporters read, “You might be familiar with the story of the couple who brandished guns during a peaceful protest outside their mansion. In the last 24 hours, there has been a lot of national attention surrounding Kim’s decision to press charges against a couple that brandished guns at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.” The email then prompted supporters to “rush a donation today” to signal their support for her in the case.
At the time, Joel Schwartz, attorney for the couple, wrote in a court motion: “Ms. Gardner, via her campaign mailers, linked the criminal proceedings against [the McCloskeys] to her personal, financial and political interests. The standard for disqualification of a prosecutor is the same as that for a judge. A prosecutor (and a prosecutor’s office as a whole when appropriate), should be disqualified where a reasonable person would have factual grounds to find an appearance of impropriety.”
Not long after that, a group of 16 congressmen signed on to a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr asking that Gardner be removed from the politically motivated case.
“Our constitution is clear, ‘… the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,’” the letter said. “The state of Missouri goes even further and gives, ‘… the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property …’
“Sadly, these God-given rights bestowed upon all citizens of the United States were trampled by the McCloskey’s very own local officials, who are responsible for upholding the law. This decision (to prosecute) is not only an abuse of power, it is reckless assault on all citizens’ right to bear arms.”
While the dismissal is a positive step forward, it currently only applies to the case against Mark McCloskey, not his wife Patricia’s case. Attorneys are likely to ask the court to apply the ruling to her case also sometime soon.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.