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ST. LOUIS – Former President Donald Trump is happy with Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s decision to pardon a pair of St. Louis attorneys who drew attention for waving guns at protesters outside their Central West End home last year.

In a statement, the president heralds Mark and Patricia McCloskey and says they would have been “badly beaten” or killed had they not brandished weapons at protesters moving through the neighborhood.

At the time, demonstrators were marching to the home of then-Mayor Lyda Krewson on June 28, amid nationwide protests after police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis. The protesters ventured onto a private street that included the McCloskey mansion.

The couple said they felt threatened after protesters broke down an iron gate and ignored a “No Trespassing” sign. Protest leaders denied damaging the gate and said the march was peaceful.

Mark McCloskey came out of his home with an AR-style rifle; Patricia McCloskey emerged with a handgun. Cellphone video captured the confrontation.

You can read President Trump’s statement below in its entirety.

Congratulations to Governor Mike Parson of Missouri for having the courage to give Mr. and Mrs. Mark McCloskey a full pardon. They were defending their property and if they had not done what they did, their property would have been completely destroyed and they would have been badly beaten, or dead—great going Mike!

Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

Last week, Sen. Josh Hawley said he supported the move to pardon the McCloskeys.

“I think that the so-called prosecution of them’s outrageous. I think it was clearly trumped up. There are even allegations of evidence tampering by the prosecution in what unfortunately has become a pattern for that prosecutor there in that office so that makes a lot of sense to me,” Hawley told FOX 2.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for the June 2020 incident. Mark pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault. His wife pleaded guilty to harassment. They were sentenced to pay the maximum fines: $750 for him, $2,000 for her. The weapons they brandished were destroyed as a condition of their pleas.

A grand jury indicted the couple last year on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. In April 2021, the Missouri Supreme Court rejected St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s request to prosecute the couple. The McCloskeys have said Gardner used the case for her own political gain.

Richard Callahan, a longtime judge and former U.S. attorney, was appointed special prosecutor after a judge in December ruled that Circuit Attorney Gardner created an appearance of impropriety by mentioning the McCloskey case in fundraising emails before the August Democratic primary. Gardner went on to win reelection.

There was no evidence that any of the protesters had weapons, Callahan said, but he also considered that the McCloskeys had no criminal records, they were the ones who called police, and no shots were fired.

The McCloskeys emerged as celebrities in conservative circles and gave a pre-taped address during the 2020 Republican National Convention.

In the wake of the incident, Mark McCloskey declared his candidacy in the upcoming 2022 Republican primary for Missouri’s soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat.

President Trump has not issued a formal endorsement of any candidate in the Missouri Senate race.