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Gun-wielding Senate hopeful accuses Missouri congresswoman of inciting threats  

Mark McCloskey and his wife Patricia claim U.S. Representative Cori Bush and a state lawmaker organized a mob to descend on their home and terrorize them with "threats of violence and racial hatred."

ST. LOUIS (CN) — Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the Missouri couple who parlayed their armed resistance to a group of Black Lives Matter protesters into a U.S. Senate run, have sued Congresswoman Cori Bush and state Representative Rasheen Aldridge for their roles in the 2020 protest.

“Bush and Aldridge participated, aided and abetted, ratified, tacitly consented to and promoted a pattern of riotous conduct and periodically called out and assembled mobs for the purpose of unlawfully and violently terrorizing the honest residents of St. Louis including Plaintiffs,” according to the five-page lawsuit filed late Tuesday in St. Louis City Court by Mark McCloskey, who is an attorney.

Neither Bush nor Aldridge, both Democrats, immediately returned emails requesting comment.

The lawsuit claims that Bush and Aldridge are leaders of a group called Expect Us.

“Expect Us has been at all times relevant hereto an organization created by the Defendants and utilized for the purpose of employing civil disobedience and mob action to intimidate, frighten and coerce the people and government of St. Louis through racist rhetoric and violent conduct toward persons and property,” the McCloskeys claim in the suit.

The suit states that Expect Us organized a mob on June 28, 2020, with a plan to destroy private neighborhoods in St. Louis and terrorize their residents.

The McCloskeys say the mob, at Bush and Aldridge’s direction, entered their private gated community, destroying a 132-year-old historic gate.

The protesters claim they were heading for then-Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home and were cutting through the neighborhood when accosted by the McCloskeys.

“That upon entering Portland Place, the Defendants’ mob, including armed men and men in armor, shouted threats of murder, rape arson[sic] and destruction at the Plaintiffs,” the lawsuit states.

The McCloskeys claim they were forced to defend their home “through the exercise of their Second Amendment rights.”

That exercise, they say, prompted Bush and Aldridge to lead another group back to their property on July 3, 2020, to terrorize them.

“That once again, the Defendants’ mob descended upon the home of the Plaintiffs with chants of ‘Burn the Mother Fucker down’ and other threats of violence and racial hatred,” the suit states.

Once again, the McCloskeys, both Republicans, claim they protected their property and themselves with their guns.

The incident turned the couple into national folk heroes in conservative circles. They spoke at the Republican National Convention in August 2020 in support of Donald Trump and Second Amendment rights.

The McCloskeys were indicted by a jury for unlawful use of a weapon, a felony, and tampering with a weapon, a misdemeanor, for their actions against the protesters. The couple eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and agreed to give up their guns, after accusing the prosecutor of misconduct and having her removed from the case.

Mark McCloskey turned the attention into a U.S. Senate bid to replace the retiring Roy Blunt. He has adopted the slogan “I will never back down” and has coupled that with media photographs of the incident that show him and Patricia waving their guns at the protesters in political ads, including roadside billboards.

Mark McCloskey faces a crowded field, including disgraced former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who is currently the frontrunner to win the Republican nomination in the August primary, according to latest poll at fivethirtyeight.com.

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