Few individuals that became famous in 2020 were simultaneously so loved and loathed as Mark and Patricia McCloskey — AKA “Ken and Karen,” the St. Louis residents who stood on their lawn with firearms as Black Lives Matter protesters broke into their luxury community on June 28 during a demonstration last summer.
The McCloskeys were originally charged by Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner in July on counts of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. The couple became lionized or demonized, depending on how you saw it, because of the immortal pictures of the two of them in front of their property, Mark McCloskey with an AR-15 and Patricia with a silver handgun.
“They were going to come in there. They were going to burn down the house. They were going to be living in our house after I was dead, and they were pointing to different rooms and said, ‘That’s going to be my bedroom and that’s going to be the living room and I’m going to be taking a shower in that room,’” she said.
It’s easy to see how the couple became emblematic of the turbulence of the past year — which, apparently, is part of the reason why Gardner, a Democrat, went after them. That’s not me trying to adduce motives, but instead, the reason why she was taken off the case last December when a judge ruled she’d undertaken a “criminal prosecution for political purposes.”
In a video posted to social media, peaceful protesters in St. Louis calling for police reforms walked past a couple brandishing firearms as they were ordered to stay away from the couple’s home https://t.co/bYl06iAiTo pic.twitter.com/wOZ1Wr3yac
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 29, 2020
That was just her being taken off of one case, though. Now, she could be taken off every case under her purview after an investigation found she was “guilty of professional misconduct,” the Washington Examiner noted after court documents in the matter were reported Wednesday.
The case will now go before a disciplinary panel, the Examiner reported, where Gardner could lose her license.
Should charges be dropped against the McCloskeys?
Yes: 100% (78 Votes)
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The case stems from an investigation into then-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican who resigned in May of 2018. In January of that year, Gardner enlisted the services of William Don Tisaby, a private investigator, to look into Greitens’ background.
Tisaby, who has since been charged with perjury, was hired to look into allegations the governor had an inappropriate extramarital relationship with an anonymous individual known by the initials “K.S.” That led to felony invasion of privacy charges that he took and transmitted a semi-nude photo of an individual.
The photo was only part of Gretiens’ issues; he would end up resigning in order to have charges dropped accusing him of tampering with a list of veterans charity donors, another felony. However, Gardner had played fast and loose with the rules during her investigation into the invasion of privacy charges.
Unlike ’80s buddy-cop movies, where the worst thing that happens to the rogue law enforcement official is that some archetypal upright superior character yells, “Your gun, your badge, now!”, this isn’t going to magically go away in the third act once Axel Foley collars the perp.
“Authorities now say Gardner concealed investigation details from her team, failed to disclose facts to Greitens’s legal team, and misrepresented evidence to a court of law,” the Examiner reported.
The outlet added she’s “denied the allegations as she faces the prospect of suspension or losing her law license. The top prosecutor said the investigation is ‘another attempt’ by her political foes to diminish her character, she claimed in a 41-page retort.”
“The Information is another attempt by Ms. Gardner’s political enemies — largely from outside St. Louis — to remove Ms. Gardner and thwart the systemic reforms she champions.”
As for the Gretiens investigation, she says it was “not wrongfully motivated” and no information was hidden.
But, again, this comes after her rather dodgy showing in the McCloskey prosecution.
According to KMOV-TV, in fundraising emails that Gardner sent during her re-election campaign, she claimed then-President Donald Trump and Missouri GOP Gov. Mike Parson were “fighting for the two who pointed guns at citizens during the Black Lives Matter protests.”
But, again, totally not political.
Former U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan, who served under former President Barack Obama from 2010 to 2017, will be taking over the prosecution — a sign that the liberal establishment is arrayed against the McCloskeys and they’re out in force.
That said, it’s not going to be a good look on the prosecution’s part if the attorney who filed charges against the McCloskeys was not only taken off the case in December but had her law license revoked later on — again for a high-profile political case. And, from all appearances, this was prosecuted just as carelessly by Gardner — if perhaps not as maliciously — as former Gov. Gretiens was.
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