Cori Bush Complains About McCloskey Pardons, Silent On St. Louis Prosecutors Screw Ups

Cori Bush Complains About McCloskey Pardons, Silent On St. Louis Prosecutors Screw Ups
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File

Missouri Congresswoman Cori Bush, who represents all of the city of St. Louis and much of St. Louis County, is hot and bothered over Gov. Brad Parson’s pardoning of Mark and Patricia McCloskey after the pair pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges over their display of firearms on their lawn last summer as hundreds of demonstrators marched through their gated community on their way to then-mayor Lyda Krewson’s home.

On Thursday, Bush appeared on CNN to express her outrage over the move in a semi-coherent fashion.

“Mark McCloskey is an absolute liar,” she said. “He has spat on my name. And because of that, his day will come. You will not be successful in all that you’re trying to do, when you are hurting the very people that are out trying to save lives … He can try it, but I will not stand by and allow him or our governor to hurt the very people that are doing the work that they should be doing.”

While Bush is incensed over the pardons of the McCloskeys, she’s had virtually nothing to say about the ongoing failures in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office, which are of much greater importance to her constituents. It was recently revealed that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who was the one to originally file charges against the McCloskeys, recently had to dismiss three murder cases because of prosecutorial errors, and earlier this week a grand jury in St. Louis released a scathing report detailing an office imbued with incompetence and professional failures. St. Louis news station KSDK-TV highlighted some of the findings.

  • Errors ranging from incorrect dates to misspelled names on indictments that could force witnesses to re-testify weeks or months later.
  • Ongoing “bitterness” between the Circuit Attorney’s Office and the police department that is “apparent” and a “disservice to the public.”
  • Cases going before the grand jury when the evidence is clear and could be presented in court.
  • Inconsistency among case presentations that creates “confusion with each case, resulting in wasted time or diminished confidence in the overall process” for the grand jury.
  • Members of Gardner’s office acknowledging problems exist to the grand jury, pledging to fix them, and not following through. Jurors believed this showed the problems were never fixed and the pledge to correct them wasn’t made in good faith.
  • Attorneys performed administrative and prosecutorial duties simultaneously, negatively affecting both the victims and the grand jury.
  • Grand jurors questioned whether the process of a grand jury should exist at all and learned “the process is somewhat unique to St. Louis. Particularly when there is a straightforward video of a crime being committed or a medical expert testifying to a child’s condition in a medical facility, the need for a grand jury seems to be lacking.”

Now, some of the issues raised by the grand jury may be institutional in nature, but clearly there are other concerns directly related to Gardner’s performance. There’s also the fact that Gardner is prosecuting far fewer felony cases than her predecessors, despite the fact that St. Louis has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country.

You’d think with all of those issues, Cori Bush might have similarly strong opinions about the conduct of Kim Gardner, but apparently she’s reserving her ire for the McCloskeys and the state’s Republican governor. Bush has said nothing at all about her fellow Democrat prosecuting fewer criminals, botching murder cases, and the widespread errors among prosecutors that could lead to the few cases that are charged ultimately being dismissed. It seems odd to me that Bush would be angrier about the McCloskeys’ pardon than the failures of the St. Louis prosecutor, but I guess party trumps public safety as far as Cori Bush is concerned.