St. Louis attorneys Mark McCloskey, 63, and Patricia McCloskey, 61, have been hit with new felony charges several weeks after making a virtual appearance during the 2020 Republican National Convention. A grand jury indicted the couple on two counts each for exhibiting a weapon and tampering with evidence.
It is not clear at this time what evidence was presented to the grand jury that resulted in the evidence tampering charges, but KSDK focused heavily in its report Patricia McCloskey’s handgun, which she previously claimed was inoperable.
The couple was initially charged with unlawful use of a weapon stemming from an incident in which they stood outside their mansion in Portland Place—a private, gated community—and pointed a rifle and a handgun at protesters.
“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis,” St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner, a Democrat, said in a statement back in July. She described the protesters, who were demonstrating against Mayor Lyda Krewson, as “peaceful” and “unarmed.”
1/ Statement from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner – Today my office filed charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey following an incident involving peaceful, unarmed protesters on June 28th. Full statement below: pic.twitter.com/zPucQ3MHs5
— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) July 20, 2020
Mark McCloskey told conservative radio host Todd Starnes in July that he was “surprised” when investigators executed a search warrant and took his rifle. He asserted to KMOV-TV in a June 29 report that protesters threatened to burn down his home and kill his dog. The McCloskeys made similar remarks on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show.
The McCloskeys have received widespread support from Republican elected officials and Second Amendment advocates for their actions on June 28. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) promised to fight the “political prosecution” on behalf of the McCloskeys. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley (R) asked the Department of Justice to look into whether Gardner violated the McCloskeys’ civil rights by initiating a prosecution. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) said he would “without a doubt” pardon the McCloskeys. More recently, Rudy Giuliani said the couple was very close to being “murdered” and “raped.”
Notably, Giuliani had the couple on his podcast in early September to discuss “tampered evidence.” They said Kim Gardner and her team were the ones doing the tampering. Giuliani called Gardner a “SOROS prosecutor.”
Mark McCloskey made a number of media appearances, including on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show, and spoke about the incident. McCloskey said that he and his wife were “literally afraid that within seconds they would surmount the wall and come into the house, kill us, burn the house down and everything that I had worked for and struggled for for the last 32 years.”
During a CNN interview, McCloskey said he was a person who was scared for his life and the “victim of a mob that came through the gate.”
He said he was in “imminent fear” that he and his wife would be run over and killed. McCloskey said that the important context to understand this fear was that, as recently as June 2, he saw St. Louis burning. McCloskey cited the murder of 77-year-old retired police captain David Dorn.
McCloskey said the “mob” was threatening and committing acts of “terrorism” and “social intimidation.” He said they smashed down the gate to the private gated community and were trespassing. He also said that he got death threats that night.
“One fellow standing right in front of me pulled out two pistol magazines, clicked them together and said you’re next. That was the first death threat we got that night,” McCloskey said. Mark McCloskey further said that the protesters were not walking the correct way to Mayor Krewson’s home, where they were believed to be heading. The mayor faced calls for her resignation over the weekend after she doxxed Black Lives Matter protesters on Facebook Live. Krewson later apologized.
While the McCloskeys maintained they were lawfully defending themselves and their home against angry trespassers, Kim Gardner charged the married couple for unlawful use of a weapon.
Notably, St. Louis prosecutors declined to charge nine protesters who were initially issued trespassing tickets following the events of June 28. According to KSDK, Portland Place trustees, who have quite a history with the McCloskeys, said they did not want to press charges against the protesters. Joel Schwartz, an attorney for the attorneys, said that the McCloskeys “absolutely would have liked to press charges.”
“Once all the facts are out, it will be clear the McCloskeys committed no crime whatsoever,” Schwartz added. “Frankly because the grand jury is not an adversarial process and defense counsel are not allowed in there and I have no idea what was stated to the grand jury and what law was given to the grand jury.”
“Every single human being that was in front of my house was a criminal trespasser,” he said. “They broke down our gate. They trespassed on our property. Not a single one of those people is now charged with anything. We’re charged with felonies that could cost us four years of our lives and our law licenses.”
“What you are witnessing here is just an opportunity for the government, the leftist, democrat government of the City of St. Louis to persecute us for doing no more than exercising our Second Amendment rights,” McCloskey continued.
[Image via Daniel Shular @xshularx]
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