Disbarment urged for weapon-brandishing lawyers after slap on the wrist plea bargain
Patricia McCloskey (Screen Grab)

The controversial lawyers who threatened protesters with semi-automatic weapons should lose their licenses to practice law, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board argued on Saturday.

"Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the personal injury attorneys who became darlings of the right-wing fever swamps by waving guns around at peaceful protesters in St. Louis last year, pleaded guilty last week to misdemeanor charges. This is the right outcome to a case that was never really felony-charge material. But this shouldn't be the end of it. After pleading to a crime, Mark McCloskey bragged about that crime and vowed to do it again if the same circumstances arose. If that's not grounds for disbarment, what is?" the newspaper asked.

A special prosecutor secured a misdemeanor plea agreement with the couple having to pay $2,750 in fines and avoiding any time in jail. They must also surrender their weapons.

"As the Post-Dispatch's Joel Currier reported Thursday, Mark McCloskey was anything but contrite after the plea," the newspaper noted. "It's not hard to figure out the game here — McCloskey is seeking Missouri's GOP nomination to the U.S. Senate, with a campaign based on exactly this kind of bluster — but it has no place in the legal profession. The McCloskeys' plea, his comments, and the couple's long, well-documented history of abusing the legal system to go after neighbors and relatives should provide plenty of fodder for a Missouri Bar Association reconsideration of their professional standing."