Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is calling for Attorney General William Barr to open a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation to determine if St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s confiscation of firearms owned by Mark and Patricia McCloskey violated their civil rights.
The McCloskeys became national figures June 28, when hundreds of protesters poured into their private, gated community while allegedly threatening to kill the couple and burn down their home.
A DOJ spokesman didn't immediately respond to an emailed request by The Epoch Times for comment.
“We were told that we would be killed, our home burned, and our dog killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob,” Mark McCloskey told police.
“Unfortunately, this family is facing new threats, not from demonstrators but from the local government," Hawley writes. "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.
“Her office has seized their firearms, and police have applied for warrants in the case, with an indictment believed to be imminent. This is an unacceptable abuse of power and threat to the Second Amendment, and I urge you to consider a federal civil rights investigation into the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office to determine whether this investigation and impending prosecution violates this family’s constitutional rights.”
“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,” writes Hawley, who was Missouri’s attorney general before being elected to the Senate in 2018.
“The only possible motivation for the investigation, then, is a politically motivated attempt to punish this family for exercising their Second Amendment rights," Hawley continues. "Indeed, this is part of a troubling pattern of politically motivated prosecutorial decisions by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney, who has not seen fit to prosecute many violent offenders, and who has expressed hostility to gun rights in the past.
Justice Department Spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told The Epoch Times “we have received and are reviewing Senator Hawley’s letter.”
Gardner, a Democrat, was elected St. Louis circuit attorney in 2016 amid controversy over the heavy financial and organizational support she received from New York financier George Soros, and organizations aligned with him.
As the first black chief prosecutor in St. Louis history, Gardner's tenure has been tumultuous, because of her 2018 indictment of then-Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, for felony invasion of privacy in allegedly taking a photograph of his scantily clad girlfriend.
The indictment was withdrawn and Gardner’s chief investigator was subsequently indicted after evidence emerged casting serious doubt on the credibility of the charge against Greitens, who had resigned.
“Most significantly, testimony transcripts and court records obtained by Just the News show the woman Gardner built her case around, beautician Katrina Sneed, testified she was asked unsolicited by Gardner’s office to come forward as a witness, and that she was actually reluctant to accuse Greitens because the entire story of a photo on his mobile phone may have been a dream,” Just the News reported.