by WorldTribune Staff, July 17, 2020
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri on Thursday urged Attorney General William Barr to launch a federal civil rights investigation of St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner, accusing her of abuse of power in her investigation of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who said they were investigated for wielding guns to defend their home against rioters.
Gardner sent law enforcement to confiscate the rifle Mark McCloskey wielded as he said rioters broke through a private gate and threatened he and his family.
Hawley wrote in a letter to Barr that Gardner abused her power in seizing the couple’s guns, investigating them and pursuing a possible indictment. He called her actions “an unacceptable abuse of power and threat to the Second Amendment.”
“There is no question under Missouri law that the McCloskeys had the right to own and use their firearms to protect themselves from threatened violence, and that any criminal prosecution for these actions is legally unsound,” Hawley wrote. “The only possible motivation for the investigation, then, is a politically motivated attempt to punish this family for exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
Gardner’s office is still investigating, but no charges have been filed.
In her 2016 campaign, Gardner took in more than $190,000 from a George Soros-funded super PAC.
Gardner, in a statement, said, “I am deeply disappointed that a U.S. Senator would intervene in a local matter that is under investigation.”
Hawley isn’t the only high-level Republican to express concerns about Gardner’s investigation. The case caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who spoke about it in a phone conversation with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday.
When he was in the Legislature, Parson co-authored Missouri’s “castle doctrine” law that justifies deadly force for those who are defending their homes from intruders. Parson, a Republican, said the McCloskeys “had every right to protect their property.”