Kim Gardner may be in a bit of hot water surrounding her prosecution of the McCloskeys, the now famous gun wielding couple who protected their house from a mob of BLM protesters some months back. Despite being on their own property and acting in self-defense, Gardner, who is a bought and paid for radical, charged the two with assault for clearly political reasons.
This had dragged on, with the McCloskey’s filing a motion in July to remove her from the case because she used their prosecution to fundraise for her re-election campaign multiple times. Now, Gardner has replied.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered the revelations from the filing.
The campaign emails, Gardner said, were responding to criticism of Gardner from high-ranking Republican politicians.
“She did not tie her reelection to the prosecution on this or any case,” Gardner’s filing said. “… Not a word discussed, referenced or implied that the future prosecution of this case was related in any way to the circuit attorney obtaining financial support from those receiving the email.
Gardner’s response, initially filed under seal, was made public over the weekend by the St. Louis Circuit Court.
The McCloskeys’ lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said in a text message Monday that Gardner’s response “is not on point.”
“Amongst other issues, she spends multiple pages detailing the complaints of various politicians and anonymous commentators,” he said. “They are not parties, they are not the prosecutor, and she should understand the difference. We plan on addressing her response in the near future.”
John Sexton over at HotAir covered some of this earlier today and he makes some good points. Gardner is pretty clearly lying in her filing, as she mentions the case multiple times in her fundraising plea. Whether she’s directly soliciting money in order to keep the prosecution going seems rather irrelevant to me. It’s improper to prosecute someone for political reasons and she clearly outed herself as doing that but immediately using the case to fundraise off of.
I want to get into the weeds a bit here because it appears to me that Gardner’s motion contains some obvious errors. Gardner’s argument is that her fundraising emails were really about the reaction of President trump, so her motion highlights those portions of the email. For instance, here’s the text of the first email as it appears in the motion:
And here’s how the motion describes that email:
The first email, sent before charges were filed, makes a single passing reference to the Defendants, pointing out that people might already be “familiar” with their actions…The rest of the email has nothing to do with the Defendants, but highlights statements about the Circuit Attorney by the governor and the president…The email concludes by asking supporters to ‘stand with [the Circuit Attorney],’ with the clear implication being that the email wants supporters to stand up for the Circuit Attorney legitimate exercise of prosecutorial discretion…It in no way links any decision or outcome the Circuit Attorney made in this specific case to fundraising efforts.
That claim, that there is only a single passing reference to the McCloskeys in the email, is false. If you look at the block of text above, there are at least two clear references to the McCloskeys, not one. The first is as Gardner’s motion describes it, i.e. a reference to “the couple who brandished guns.” But there’s a second reference which reads “President Trump and the Governor are fighting for the two who pointed guns at peaceful citizens…” So that’s two references to the McCloskeys, meaning this was neither a single reference nor a passing one.
This wasn’t just a case of Gardner making an off-hand comment in the email. She was clearly using her prosecution of the McCloskeys as a bit of a hostage tactic with her supporters, claiming that they need to give her money so she can keep doing what she’s doing.
Gardner would go on to accuse the McCloskeys of “political theater,” which shows a lack of self-awareness so pervasive that she should probably see a professional about it. The entire prosecution was political theater from day one. All the McCloskeys are doing is attempting to defend themselves. If I were in their position, I’d certainly be pretty angry to see a prosecutor use my case to fundraise off of. That shows a clear bias and Garnder should be removed from the case.
Regardless, whether Gardner is actually thrown off the case will, as always, come down to the political leanings of the judge. There should be a decision out soon.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)