St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner justifiably got a lot of criticism for filing charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey for displaying guns to defend themselves and their property.
Given her political leanings, it seemed a completely political move on her part.
But perhaps she should have been holding up a mirror to herself and keeping her own house in order.
According to reports by KMOV4, she allegedly took several trips that she failed to disclose including to Portugal, Houston, Selma and New Haven, despite the law requiring that they be disclosed.
From Washington Examiner:
“When something isn’t reported, the public has a right to ask, ‘Well, why wasn’t it?’” said Patrick Ishmael of the Show-Me Institute, a Missouri think tank. “Elected officials have an obligation to be transparent, and that’s especially true related to their duty because the public wants to know their officials are working for the interest and not someone else’s.”
Every elected official in St. Louis is required by law to disclose travel no matter if it was funded by public or private dollars. Missouri also has statewide laws that require disclosures in some cases. Gardner reportedly did not disclose any trips in 2018 or 2019 despite taking trips funded by a liberal organization called Fair and Just Prosecution, which has lauded her decision to prosecute the McCloskeys after they brandished and pointed weapons at protesters who broke into their private neighborhood last month.
She had other trips funded by FJP in the past in 2017, including to New York, Chicago, Seattle and Philadelphia, but she disclosed them.
City ‘sources’ finked her out, with some saying that she was unreachable when she was traveling.
She denied any quid pro quo for actions, said KMOV4:
“Since shortly after her election, Circuit Attorney Gardner has been an active member in Fair and Just Prosecution’s network of progressive prosecutors. She was invited to participate because of her beliefs, values, and goals. Those goals are in line with FJP’s priorities and the same as policies the Circuit Attorney has promised to deliver for St. Louis since day one. The suggestion that there is any quid pro quo involved here is patently absurd,” her office said in a statement. [….]
The office said that Gardner would not apologize for not disclosing her travel because it is a “veiled attempt to disparage” the attorney.
Gardner was backed in her election to the office by a Soros-backed PAC.
Fair and Just Prosecution responded to some of News 4’s questions, saying they generally will pay for prosecutors’ food, lodging and airfare for their events, which they say is standard practice of other non-profits. They did not, however, confirm the number of trips Gardner or Bell have taken with them.
They also say their funding comes from a number of sources, saying only a tiny fraction came from an entity related to George Soros, a billionaire philanthropist.
Gardener has also faced criticism for fundraising off the McCloskey case from their attorney, who is now asking that the case be dismissed because of that.
Her campaign sent out an email on July 17 that directly spoke of the case and then of donations.
From Daily Caller:
The email went on to say that “President Trump and the Governor are fighting for the two who pointed guns at peaceful citizens during the Black Lives Matter protests” and later included a request for campaign donations, the court documents show.
Gardner leveled felony weapons charges against the McCloskeys on July 20. On July 22, her campaign sent out another fundraising email that directly leveraged her decision to charge the couple.
“In the last 24 hours, there has been a lot of national attention surrounding Kim’s decision to press charges against a couple that brandished guns at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest,” the July 22 email said, according to court documents. The email went on to ask supporters to “rush a donation today” to signal their support for her in the case, court documents show.
“Ms. Gardner, via her campaign mailers, linked the criminal proceedings against [the McCloskeys] to her personal, financial and political interests,” Joel Schwartz, the couple’s attorney, wrote in the motion Wednesday.
Author: Nick Arama