Minnesota House Democrats voted to expel Rep. John Thompson from their caucus at a closed-door meeting Tuesday night, according to a statement.
House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said in a joint statement that it would be “best for Rep. Thompson, his family, and the institution for him to resign.”
“Rep. Thompson’s actions, credible reports of abuse and misconduct, and his failure to take responsibility remain unacceptable for a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives,” read the statement. “In the absence of a resignation, the Minnesota House DFL has voted to remove Rep. Thompson from the caucus.”
This comes nearly two months after Thompson first faced pressure to resign from the state’s top Democrats. Thompson resisted, despite the release of police reports describing his alleged history of domestic abuse.
Two different police reports claim Thompson exposed his genitals in front of children and demanded his adult victims perform oral sex on him. Another report describes Thompson’s alleged abuse of a woman whom he locked in an Eagan, Minnesota, apartment and prevented from calling 911.
“I’ll choke you until you can’t breathe anymore,” Thompson allegedly told his victim.
Thompson has never been convicted of domestic assault and adamantly denied the allegations.
The Thompson scandal began when he was pulled over July 4 for driving without a front license plate and presented police with a Wisconsin driver’s license. His Minnesota driving privileges were suspended because of his failure to pay child support.
He recently obtained a Minnesota driver’s license — for the first time — but it is already at risk of being suspended because he failed to either pay the fine from the July 4 traffic stop or appear for a hearing.
Thompson has also faced questions about whether he actually lives in the St. Paul district he was elected to represent, since he renewed his Wisconsin license the same month he was elected and opted to keep his address private for security reasons when filing to run for office.
While Thompson was dealing with the fallout from his domestic abuse allegations, he was on trial for a misdemeanor obstruction charge for his involvement in a 2019 brawl at North Memorial Hospital. A jury found him guilty.
He also faced an ethics complaint for calling a Republican racist in the middle of a House floor debate.
Thompson released a very long statement on Facebook ahead of Tuesday night’s House DFL meeting in which he accused the media of racism and manipulating “information and allegations against me and my family.”
“Currently, some are saying because of the past allegations against me that I am not fit to serve in this legislative seat. The fact is, I don’t have a hateful bone in my body for anything other than the blatant racism that is being displayed all over the world and that some play as though it does not exist. Allegations about something that allegedly happened to me twenty years ago does not disqualify me from doing my job today,” Thompson said.
Despite all of this, Thompson is still perhaps best known for screaming at teenage girls during a protest last summer.