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Rep. John Thompson's Wife Denies Domestic Abuse Allegations; Trump Supporter Arrested At Press Conference

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- DFL Rep. John Thompson said again he has no plans to resign.

Several lawmakers have asked Thompson to step down because of past accusations of domestic abuse. Thompson and his supporters held a press conference Monday outside the Minnesota State Capitol.

"I will not remain silent, and I will not be resigning," Rep. Thompson said.

Among Thompson's supporters is his wife, Lea, who was the alleged victim in several complaints. She now says those claims were not true.

"I am not now, nor have I ever been an abused woman," Lea Thompson said. "I am not a victim of domestic abuse."

Thompson has never been convicted on any domestic abuse allegations, all of which are at least 10 years old. St. Paul City Council Member Nelsie Yang was among his supporters at the capitol Monday.

John Thompson and Lea Thompson
Rep. John Thompson and wife Lea Thompson (credit: CBS)

"Honestly, we need more folks like John in office," Yang said.

Valerie Castile, mother of Thompson's friend Philando Castile -- who was shot and killed during a 2016 traffic stop by St. Anthony police – is also standing by him.

"We support Rep. John Thompson!" Castile said.

The press conference was interrupted by a woman who drove in circles on the capitol lawn while waving a Trump flag. She was eventually taken into custody, with bystanders yelling that a Black person would have been treated more harshly.

DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman said again Monday that she believes Thompson should resign, and that an ethics committee probe would begin when the criminal cases are over. According to the speaker's office, the only unresolved criminal matter is Thompson's Wisconsin driver's license, although it's not clear what kind of investigation is going on there and what potential penalties he might face.

Last week, a Hennepin County jury found Thompson guilty of obstruction from a 2019 incident at a local hospital.

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