McCloskey, who is among several Republican candidates running for the US Senate, told The Associated Press he never expected the couple to be accused of moral turpitude before the state Supreme Court “for doing what we thought was right.”
“I think the reason why we were asked to be suspended had more to do with politics than anything else,” McCloskey said. “But we respect the Supreme Court’s opinion, although we disagree. … We will comply 100% with the orders.”
in a previous court filing seeking the suspension, Missouri Chief Disciplinary Counsel Alan Pratzel cited the McCloskey’s guilty pleas to misdemeanors stemming from the June 2020 encounter with protesters. Pratzel’s office is responsible for investigating ethical complaints against Missouri lawyers.
The McCloskeys have said they felt threatened by the protesters who walked onto their private street during global protests that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Mark McCloskey emerged from his home with an AR-15-style rifle, and Patricia McCloskey waved a semi-automatic pistol.
The pair received national attention after the confrontation, including from former President Donald Trump and other Republican conservative leaders. Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons pardoned them last year.
Noting that support, McCloskey said he doesn’t expect the probation to affect his Senate campaign.
“The folks that support me know what I did, why I did it and support me for having done it,” he said.
Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was ordered to pay a $750 fine. Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.
Pratzel’s motion said that while a pardon erases a person’s conviction, “the person’s guilt remains.”
The judges agreed, writing that the couple “committed a misdemeanor offense involving moral turpitude” and should be disciplined.