The notorious St. Louis Circuit Attorney who was prosecuting a couple who was charged after defending their home with firearms during a riotous Black Lives Matter demonstration has been disqualified from prosecuting the case.
Back in July, the McCloskeys filed to get Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner removed from their case to no avail.
However, after campaign fundraising emails sent on behalf of Gardner’s reelection efforts came to light in which she used the case against Mark McCloskey as a selling point, a judge made the decision to remove her from the case.
This was always a token case for the Soros-backed Gardner, whose agenda is virtually indistinguishable from that of the same people who threatened the McCloskey’s after breaking into their gated community in search of the Missouri governor’s home.
Judge Thomas Clark asserted that the campaign emails in which the McCloskeys were essentially disparaged and assumed guilty “raise the appearance of impropriety and jeopardize the defendant’s right to a fair trial.”
The judge’s ruling came about six weeks after the couples’ attorney filed for another motion to disqualify Gardner on the basis of the inappropriate emails. The McCloskeys lawyer alleged that the emails indicate Gardner and her office have a “personal interest in the case.”
Gardner contends that she only sent the emails as a response to criticisms from the governor and President Donald Trump. Judge Clark, however, didn’t see it that way.
“Ms. Gardner has every right to rebut criticism, but it appears unnecessary to stigmatize defendant – or even mention him – in campaign solicitations, especially when she purports to be responding to others,” he wrote as part of his 22-page ruling. “In fact, the case law and Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit it.”
Clark has scheduled a status hearing on the case for Jan. 7, 2021.
“(Gardner) is accountable – not just to the voters, but to the rule of law,” Clark wrote. “The court is similarly obligated to follow the law…
“These email solicitations aim to raise money using the defendant and the circumstances surrounding the case to rally Ms. Gardner’s political base and fuel contributions.”
Clark further noted in his ruling how rare and unusual it is for judges to dismiss local elected prosecutors from cases.
“The court is acutely aware and recognizes the significance of the string of supreme court case law, discouraging judicial intrusion,” he wrote. “This court does not seek to disregard the will of the voters and does not make this decision lightly.”
Gardner said in a statement, “Today the media reported on a judge’s ruling on the Mark McCloskey case prior to any official notification. We will review the court order and determine our options.”
Meanwhile, the McCloskey’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, made his own statement for his clients saying they are pleased with the ruling and that “All they want is fairness.”
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