The Missouri Supreme Court upheld a ruling from a lower court removing St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner from the case against Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a couple who made headlines after brandishing firearms to ward off a mob of marauding protesters who trespassed in their gated community and passed their home on their way to intimidate their neighbor, then-Mayor Lyda Krewson.
The decision was made after Gardner, whose 2016 campaign was bankrolled by leftist billionaire George Soros, appealed her disqualification.
She was disqualified when the court discovered that Gardner was using the case against the McCloskeys to fundraise for her reelection campaign.
“Kim needs your help to fight back!” one of her campaign emails read, noting she was under “national scrutiny from our divisive President, the Republican establishment of Missouri, and the right-wing media, including Fox News.”
She went on to win reelection.
“In short, the Circuit Attorney’s conduct raises the appearance that she initiated a criminal prosecution for political purposes,” Circuit Judge Thomas Clark wrote in his opinion.
Richard Callahan, who served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri under former president Barack Obama, will now serve as the special prosecutor on the case.
“This is what we expected based on the careful, thoughtful ruling from Judge Tom Clark,” Joel Schwartz, attorney for the McCloskeys, said of the lower court’s ruling that the state Supreme Court upheld.
The Missouri Supreme Court did not explain its writ dismissing Gardner’s appeal.
Gardner originally filed the charges against the McCloskeys last July after a video of the couple confronting a mob outside their home went viral online.
Mark McCloskey was seen emerging from his home armed with an AR-15 rifle and Patricia McCloskey came out with a semiautomatic handgun.
Gardner said the display of guns risked bloodshed.
A police probable cause statement said protesters feared “being injured due to Patricia McCloskey’s finger being on the trigger, coupled with her excited demeanor.”