GOP Senate candidate pleads guilty to assault after waving gun at protesters

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Mark McCloskey and his wife, Patricia, will pay fines and forfeit their guns as punishment for their misdemeanor crimes.

A Republican Senate hopeful in Missouri and his wife pleaded guilty on Thursday to misdemeanor charges. The pair became conservative movement heroes last June after their brandished guns at nonviolent protestors marching against systemic racism.

Mark McCloskey admitted to fourth-degree assault and to pay a $750 fine. His wife, Patricia, will pay $2,000 for second-degree harassment. Both will forfeit the firearms used.

"The prosecutor dropped every charge except for alleging that I purposely placed other people in imminent risk of physical injury, right, and I sure as heck did," Mark McCloskey told reporters. The two had originally been indicted in October on felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering.

"That's what the guns were there for and I'd do it again any time the mob approaches me, I'll do what I can to place them in imminent threat of physical injury because that's what kept them from destroying my house and my family," he added.

The McCloskeys made national news for their response to Black Lives Matter protestors from the lawn of their St. Louis home. The couple resides in the same gated community as then-St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, whose home protestors were marching on to protest her actions in the wake of the George Floyd murder. As the activists marched, Patricia pointed a handgun at them and Mark held an AR-15 rifle.

After this incident, the Republican National Committee invited the pair to speak at the August 2020 national convention. "What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country," they warned voters in a fearmongering speech.

Last month, Mark McCloskey — an attorney — announced that he would seek the GOP nomination for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt.

"An angry mob marched to destroy my home and kill my family, I took a stand to defend them," he tweeted. "I am a proven fighter against the mob When the mob comes to destroy our home, our state, our nation— I'll defend it I will NEVER BACK DOWN."

He brags on his campaign website that he and his wife "held off a violent mob through the exercise of their 2nd Amendment rights." And he promises to "continue fighting for President Trump’s agenda" if elected and to defend "law and order."

Other candidates running for the nomination include Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who opposed charging the McCloskeys and claimed they were just "defending their property and safety"; Rep. Vicky Hartzler, one of Congress' most extreme opponents of LGBTQ rights; and ex-Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned from office in the face of an alleged revenge porn scandal in 2018.

Published with permission of Thee American Independent Foundation.