Attorney: Thompson won't resign, 'challenges the authenticity' of reports of domestic violence | KSTP.com

Attorney: Thompson won't resign, 'challenges the authenticity' of reports of domestic violence

This Aug. 21, 2016 photo shows John Thompson, now a state representative, at a fundraiser at Central High School in St. Paul, Minn. Thompson, who was ticketed for a driver’s license violation is alleging he was racially profiled. The citation says State Rep. John Thompson of St. Paul, who is Black, presented a Wisconsin license during a traffic stop in St. Paul Sunday, July 4, 2021. Photo: Scott Takushi/Pioneer Press via AP. This Aug. 21, 2016 photo shows John Thompson, now a state representative, at a fundraiser at Central High School in St. Paul, Minn. Thompson, who was ticketed for a driver’s license violation is alleging he was racially profiled. The citation says State Rep. John Thompson of St. Paul, who is Black, presented a Wisconsin license during a traffic stop in St. Paul Sunday, July 4, 2021.

Gracie Stockton
Updated: July 18, 2021 07:20 PM
Created: July 17, 2021 02:33 PM

A growing bipartisan chorus of Minnesota political leaders are calling on Rep. John Thompson, DFL-St. Paul, to resign after allegations of abuse and the dispute over his residence. 

Court records dating back to 2003 show at least three instances in which Thompson was charged with disorderly conduct. Thompson was also charged with obstruction in connection with a 2019 incident at North Memorial Health Hospital; that case is still ongoing.

In a statement Sunday, Thompson's lawyer Jordan Kushner said that Thompson "challenges the authenticity" of the reports and that Thompson and his wife "categorically deny" the occurrence of any of the allegations.

"The police reports are a product of the campaign to silence an American African man who speaks out against powerful and abusive interests, and not the product of any effort to uncover the truth," Kushner wrote.

Kushner told the Star Tribune that Thompson "maintains the allegations are false and he was never found guilty of them in a court." Kushner also said his client has no immediate plans to vacate his office.

"The alleged acts of violence against multiple women outlined in these reports are serious and deeply disturbing," Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement Saturday. "Minnesotans deserve representatives of the highest moral character, who uphold our shared values. Representative Thompson can no longer effectively be that leader and he should immediately resign."

House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, issued a similar statement, calling Thompson's actions "troubling."

"Representative Thompson ran for office to advance progressive policies, but his recent actions, and unacceptable reports of abuse and misconduct, have become an impediment to that work," House leadership said.

DFL Party Chair Ken Martin also demanded Thompson's resignation, stressing that the alleged patterns of violent and abusive behavior are "sickening."

Democratic U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, who represents Minnesota's 4th Congressional District, joined in, too, calling the allegations against him "intolerable."

"These very serious allegations undermine Mr. Thompson's credibility, making it impossible for him to serve his constituents with the effectiveness and dignity they deserve," McCollum said in a statement. "I urge Mr. Thompson to immediately resign from the Minnesota House of Representatives."

"Physical and sexual violence are anathema to everything we stand for as DFLers and as Minnesotans, and nobody credibly accused of such heinous acts has any place in elected office," Martin said.

The Republican Party, too, is calling for Thompson to step aside. 

"Representative Thompson's disturbing domestic violence incidents, malicious accusations of racism against law enforcement and colleagues at the legislature, and disregard for state law makes it clear he is unfit to serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Representative Thompson must resign," said House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown.

A spokesperson for House Republicans said they "have prepared ethics complaints that will be filed Monday in the event that Rep. Thompson does not resign."

After a traffic stop on July 4 where Thompson presented a Wisconsin driver's license, inquiries into his residence uncovered at least four cases of domestic violence against women. Police reports from 2003 to 2009 indicate that his acts of violence took place in front of children.


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