A St. Louis judge, citing “improper fundraising emails” has removed Soros-backed Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner from a gun case involving two residents who protected their property from Black Lives Matter protesters last summer.
The couple. Mark and Patricia McCloskey, were indicted on one count each of unlawful use of a weapon for pointing guns at protestors on June 28 when a crowd marched down Portland Place, a private street in the Central West End. They were also charged with tampering with physical evidence, a felony.
We can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that Ms. Gardner is not the brightest bulb in the room. Gardner sent out two fundraising emails mentioning the criticisms of her office made by President Donald Trump and Governor Mike Parson, saying they were “fighting for the two who pointed guns at citizens during the Black Lives Matter protests.”
How dumb was that? Circuit Judge Thomas Clark II said she “raised the appearance” that she “initiated a criminal prosecution for political purposes” and promptly disqualified her.
“Like a needle pulling thread, she links the defendant and his conduct to her critics,” Clark wrote. “These emails are tailored to use the June 28 incident to solicit money by positioning her against defendant and her more vocal critics.”
The judge’s order deals a political blow to Gardner, whose office has waged numerous legal challenges to defend her practices and reform-minded agenda during her first term.
In a text message, Gardner’s spokeswoman Allison Hawk said the Circuit Attorney’s Office “will review the court order and determine our options.”
The McCloskey’s lawyers had filed a motion earlier to have Gardner disqualified because it was painfully obvious she was using the incident to bolster her credentials as a liberal crusader. It should also be noted that nine protesters were charged with trespassing as a result of the incident. The charges were later dropped by Gardner.
So some of the same people who had been rampaging through the city burning and looting trespass on private property and the owner may go to jail for defending himself while the trespassers go free?
Clark said Gardner has a right to rebut criticism from political opponents but questioned her decision to raise money while referring to an active criminal case.
“In short, she identifies her critics, links them to (Mark McCloskey), requests the campaign contribution to fight back and forewarns criminal prosecution by holding defendant ‘accountable,’” Clark wrote. “To a reasonable person, this language forecasts prosecutorial action.”Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sought to intervene in the case by filing a brief supporting a motion to dismiss it. Gov. Mike Parson has said he will pardon the McCloskeys if they are convicted.
Gardner and her Soros-backed soulmate Kimberly Foxx have lots in common, but especially an eagerness to use the law to go after political opponents. At least one judge is standing up to her, but there are many judges who support her reform agenda who might have given her a pass.
Perhaps it’s time for the right to start fundraising for prosecutors who reflect our values.