When Mark and Patricia McCloskey were charged with felonies after they were caught on video holding firearms as a large number of protestors were on their property, citing a broken gate as having put them in fear for their lives, there was a flurry of outrage directed towards St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. According to Gateway Pundit, Gardner labeled the McCloskeys’ actions “unacceptable.”
FoxNews.com reported that Missouri governor Mike Parson put a pardon of the McCloskeys on the table. “They had every right to protect their property, their home, just like any of us would. If you had a mob coming towards you, whether they tore down a gate or not, when they come on your property, they don't have a right to do that in an aggressive manner. People have a right to protect their selves, their families, their property,” he told Sean Hannity.
Not to be outdone, Missouri’s attorney general, Eric Schmitt, filed separate legal briefs for Mark and Patricia McCloskey calling for the charges to be dismissed within hours of the ruling according to FoxNews.com. In a release put out by his office, he said, “The right to keep and bear arms is given the highest level of protection in our constitution and our laws, including the Castle Doctrine. This provides broad rights to Missourians who are protecting their property and lives from those who wish to do them harm.”
As of this writing, the McCloskeys remain under indictment, and under the provisions of 18 USC 922(g), they are prohibited from possessing any firearms, and a violation could land them up to ten years in federal prison. Recently, the couple was harassed as they went to pick up Christmas cards.
Questions have now arisen as to whether or not the McCloskeys were not merely wrongly charged, but whether evidence has been tampered with. KSDK reported that a member of Gardner’s staff ordered technicians in the crime lab to disassemble the handgun Patricia McCloskey was holding in the video and reassemble it. Court documents obtained by the local TV station revealed that the firearm was functional and had been test-fired. At the time the handgun was seized under the auspices of a search warrant, it was inoperable.
Shocking? Not if you were aware of recent history. It turns out that Gardner, who lawofficer.com reports is one of a number of prosecuting attorneys who have been supported by George Soros, has more than one questionable investigation stemming from her tenure as the top prosecutor for St. Louis. The victim of the abusive practices: None other than the governor of Missouri at the time, Erik Greitens.
In 2018, she secured a grand jury indictment against Greitens, a former Navy SEAL who was seen by many as a potential rising political star, having won the 2016 gubernatorial race by about six points. Greitens was accused of threatening a woman with whom he’d been having an extra-marital affair, using a compromising photo. Facing potential impeachment over the scandal, Greitens resigned, even though the invasion of privacy charges were dropped.
The reason the charges were dropped soon exploded into a scandal. A long-time prosecutor with the offense, Dwight Warren, blasted the indictment, pointing out that there was no evidence the alleged photo even existed, and that the effort to go after Greitens was “motivated by politics and not by the evidence.”
He wasn’t the only one who had doubts. According to JustTheNews.com, during a pre-trial deposition, Katrina Sneed said, “So not that’s like a very vivid memory which is the reason why I haven’t talked about it because I don’t know if it’s because I’m remembering it through a dream or I — I’m not sure, but yes, I feel like I saw it after that happened, but I haven’t spoken about it because of that.”
The Missouri Ethics Commission would exonerate Greitens in February 2020. Washington Free Beacon noted that Gardner had hired a private investigator, William Tisaby, to look into the former Missouri governor, something Warren had raised alarm bells about. According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tisaby had a checkered past during his time at the FBI, being investigated for misconduct and wound up being demoted.
Attorneys for Greitens later discovered that Gardner’s office failed to fulfill discovery requirements and uncovered additional misconduct. Tisaby was later charged with seven felony counts, including perjury and tampering with evidence.
The takedown of Greitens is reminiscent of the dubious 2005 indictment that Ronnie Earle, then the district attorney for Travis County, Texas launched against then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay. DeLay was forced to step down from his post and later left Congress. He would be convicted in 2010, but the charges would be thrown out on appeal in 2013. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the lower court’s dismissal in 2014.
An investigation by a special prosecutor into Gardner’s conduct in the Greitens matter ended in 2019 with no charges. She later filed a suit claiming that a “racist conspiracy” was trying to force her from office. This past August, she survived a primary challenge. While Gardner has a Republican opponent, between the heavy funding from George Soros and the heavily Democratic-leaning electorate around St. Louis, she is a heavy favorite to win re-election.
That could very well mean the question is not if there will be a next victim of Gardner’s abuse of power, but who that victim will be.
Harold Hutchison has nearly two decades of experience covering a variety of topics, including politics, national security affairs, foreign policy, Second Amendment issues, and sports. He has been published in numerous media outlets, including National Review, the Daily Caller, the Patriot Post, Ammoland.com, and the Washington Examiner.