U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, wants a federal investigation launched in the case about a St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters last month. He has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr accusing St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner of abusing her power. He says Gardner’s unacceptable abuse of power has to do with Mark and Patricia McCloskey having their guns seized, being investigated and he says Gardner is pursuing a possible indictment.
The McCloskeys have made national news after video and photos showed them outside their mansion wielding guns as a number of protesters walked through their neighborhood. Mark McCloskey was captured on video flashing a rifle yelling that protesters were on private property. McCloskey says he and his wife were “socially intimidated” and “terrorized” by some of the individuals and he feared for his life when they came onto his property.
In the letter, Hawley urges Barr to open a civil rights probe into the matter and says the McCloskey’s had the right to own and use their firearms to protect themselves from threatened violence.
“The Second Amendment is not a second-class right,” Hawley says.
Gardner fired back on Twitter at Hawley’s comments.
Baseless. Our office will continue to investigate this matter, and will not be bullied by a sitting U.S. Senator or anyone else. https://t.co/IWhHD8RaxG
— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) July 16, 2020
During a press conference earlier this week, Gov. Mike Parson weighed in on the clash involving Gardner and the McCloskeys.
“They have the ability to do that as private citizens like everyone else,” says Parson. “But what they should not go through is a prosecutor attempting to take their Constitutional rights away by filing charges against them for protecting their property.”
He says President Donald Trump and Barr are reviewing the event.
“He understands the situation in St. Louis and how out of control it is for a prosecutor to let violent criminals off and not do their job and try to attack law-abiding citizens,” says Parson. “The conversation I had with the president said that he would do everything he could within his powers to help with this situation and that he would be taking action.”
Parson suggested that Gardner should be removed from office.
Gardner released a statement saying Parson and Trump are going after her for doing her job and investigating a case.
“While they continue to play politics with the handling of this matter, spreading misinformation and distorting the truth, I refuse to do so. As I always do, I am reviewing all the available facts and the law and will apply them equally, regardless of the people involved,” says Gardner. “It is unbelievable the Governor of the state of Missouri would seek advice from one of the most divisive leaders in our generation to overpower the discretion of a locally elected prosecutor. It is also incredible that at a time when our nation is dealing with a rapidly spreading deadly virus and our state reported a record number of new infections, they are launching these dog-whistle attacks against me. They should be focused on their jobs and I’ll focus on mine.”
Gardner’s office has not announced any charges against the McCloskeys.
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