Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is calling for a federal civil rights investigation into the politically motivated targeting of a St. Louis married couple who exercised their Second Amendment rights in the face of a Black Lives Matter mob.
Hawley sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Thursday stating that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a George Soros-backed elected prosecutor, is engaging in “an unacceptable abuse of power.”
Mark and Patricia McCloskey brandished firearms on the front steps of their home on June 28, after a mob of protesters trespassed on their property and threatened them.
Although police were slow to arrive, the confrontation was resolved without anyone being hurt.
But that hasn’t stopped Gardner from aiming the full force of her office at the couple.
Gardner has seized their legally owned guns, ordered a criminal investigation, applied for warrants and is reportedly planning a criminal indictment.
According to Hawley, none of those actions are justified.
“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.”
In a Fox News interview, Albert Watkins, the McCloskeys’ attorney, said that Missouri’s “Castle Doctrine” affords a person “the absolute unmitigated right to protect his or her castle [home] or family while on their property.”
Watkins added that the protesters were trespassing and “damaging and destroying private property and acting in a threatening and hostile fashion.”
In his letter, Hawley pointed to the fact that Gardner declined to prosecute dozens of violent rioters and looters after they were arrested in St. Louis following the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Eric Schmidt, Missouri’s state attorney general, was appalled at her decision and posted video evidence of arson and mayhem on social media.
In a stunning development, our office has learned that every single one of the St. Louis looters and rioters arrested were released back onto the streets by local prosecutor Kim Gardner. pic.twitter.com/tMZVAyHssw
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) June 3, 2020
Hawley concluded that, “The only possible motivation for the investigation, then, is a politically motivated attempt to punish this family for exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
Gardner, one of many Soros-backed prosecutors across the nation, was elected in 2016 on a platform of criminal justice reform.
In a statement, she described the encounter between the McCloskeys and the protesters as “a violent assault” against people exercising their First Amendment rights.
“I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met by guns and a violent assault,” Gardner said. “We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated.”
Statement from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner in regards to events over weekend: pic.twitter.com/KqqFHIvL9Q
— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) June 29, 2020
But Hawley isn’t buying it.
“St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is now threatening to prosecute not the trespassers, but the McCloskeys, and she is using the powers of her office to target them,” he wrote.
“No family should face the threat of harassment or malicious prosecution for exercising that [Second Amendment] right,” he continued. “The Department of Justice must ensure that all Americans’ rights are protected from this kind of abuse of power.”