DFL leaders reportedly knew about Rep. John Thompson’s past charges of domestic assault prior to his election to the Minnesota House in November.
Sources told Morning Take this week that “legislative leaders” were aware of Alpha News’ August 2020 report on Thompson’s domestic assault charges. Thompson, however, was allegedly “dishonest” and claimed that the charges were against a “different John Thompson.”
Democrats now plan to improve their vetting process for legislative candidates, according to the report.
House Speaker Melissa Hortman told Minority Leader Kurt Daudt Wednesday that she doesn’t plan to take any immediate action against Thompson, who allegedly abused multiple women from 2003 to 2010. Republicans said they are “disappointed in Speaker Hortman’s inaction” and “preparing a response.”
House Speaker Melissa Hortman told Minority Leader Kurt Daudt today that she does not plan to take any immediate action against Democrat John Thompson, who is facing pressure to resign because of numerous allegations of domestic abuse. pic.twitter.com/8HvwihSLAq
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) July 21, 2021
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, leaving marks on her that were later observed by the responding officers.
The revelations prompted most of the state’s top Democrats to call for Thompson’s resignation, but he has thus far refused to step down.
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. The media began seeking answers about Thompson’s place of residency and uncovered police reports describing his alleged abuse in the process.
Thompson has never been convicted of domestic assault and his attorney said Thompson denies all of the allegations. He even claimed the police reports could have been “doctored” in an attempt to smear a black lawmaker.
Meanwhile, a jury found Thompson guilty Wednesday of misdemeanor obstruction of the legal process for his involvement in a 2019 melee at North Memorial Hospital. He was sentenced to six months’ probation.
Thompson told reporters outside the courtroom that “sometimes the fight for justice has legal ramifications.”
“I’m going to continue to fight for people who look just like me. People who don’t have a voice. I’m going to continue to be that voice,” he said.
He then asked for “privacy” and “respect” from the press to allow his family a few days to “process this” and consider his future.
Rep. John Thompson asked for "respect" and "privacy" after a jury found him guilty today for a misdemeanor incident at a hospital in 2019. pic.twitter.com/l8hdQtVumG
— Rebecca Brannon (@RebsBrannon) July 21, 2021
In an unrelated incident, the House Ethics Committee is scheduled to consider an ethics complaint against Thompson Friday. The complaint was filed by Republican Rep. Eric Lucero after Thompson repeatedly called him a racist on the House floor.