The Attorney on a Political Witch Hunt Against the McCloskeys Has Been Removed

Posted: Dec 11, 2020 11:00 AM
The Attorney on a Political Witch Hunt Against the McCloskeys Has Been Removed

Source: Screenshot via Twitter

The zealous prosecutor who charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey with felonies after they defended themselves against a Black Lives Matter mob at their home this summer has been dismissed from the case by a judge. From local NBC 5

A St. Louis judge has disqualified Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner and her office from prosecuting Mark McCloskey's case, saying campaign fundraising emails she sent before and after issuing charges against the couple “raise the appearance of impropriety and jeopardize the defendant’s right to a fair trial.”

Judge Thomas Clark’s ruling comes about six weeks after the attorneys for Mark and Patricia McCloskey argued their motion to disqualify Gardner and her office from the case, saying her emailed solicitations for campaign contributions demonstrated she and her office have a personal interest in the case and jeopardized Mark McCloskeys’ right to a fair trial.

In her rebuttal, Gardner argued she sent the emails merely to respond to criticisms from the governor and president.

But, in his 22-page ruling, Clark disagreed.

“Ms. Gardner has every right to rebut criticism, but it appears unnecessary to stigmatize defendant – or even mention him – in campaign solicitations, especially when she purports to be responding to others,” he wrote. “In fact, the case law and Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit it.”

Should Clark's ruling stand, a special prosecutor will be appointed to handle the case. In St. Louis, the presiding judge picks the special prosecutor. 

Gardner's office responded to the ruling by saying they were not "officially informed" prior to media coverage of the decision.  

When Gardner filed the charges against the McCloskey's in July, she urged them to take advantage of a program designed to "reduce unncessary involvement with the courts," indicating she doesn't have a legitimate case against the couple. 

Shortly afterward, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a brief calling for the dismissal of the charges.