Statement Analysis®

Did Congressman John Thomspon commit domestic violence?

Minnesota State Representative John Thompson is facing calls to resign over allegations of domestic violence and indecent exposure. The Washington Post detailed several incidents that allege Thompson hit, choked and exposed himself to women.

According to the Washington Post, the first incident allegedly occurred in Superior, Wisconsin in October 2003 when "Police responded to reports of a disturbance at a grocery store parking lot, and bystanders pointed to Thompson, a woman and a 5-year-old girl. Thompson allegedly ran away from police but was eventually apprehended. Thompson's girlfriend told police that he 'repeatedly hit her in the face with openhanded and closed fist strikes.' Thompson later pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct."

The Washington Post also reported that "in August 2004 in Eagan, Minnesota, a girlfriend alleged Thompson choked her following a dispute, threatening, 'I'll choke you until you can't breathe anymore.' He allegedly slapped her as she tried to get away. When she tried to call police, she said, Thompson dismantled the phone. Shortly after, when she tried to run out and call for help from a neighbor's residence, Thompson allegedly dragged her back inside, closing and locking the door as she screamed for help. As the girlfriend tried to fight back, according to the report, Thompson allegedly punched her in the face and then threw her onto the kitchen table, breaking it…It’s unclear if charges were filed."

In yet another incident, the Washington Post reported that in "March 2010, a woman who identified herself as Thompson's girlfriend of 11 years and the mother of two of his children told St. Paul police that, during an argument with children and other family members present, Thompson exposed himself and made a sexually suggestive comment, according to a police report. As the argument continued, Thompson put his hands around her neck and squeezed, saying, 'I'll choke you until your voice box stops,' she alleged in the report...The Ramsey County attorney declined to file charges, citing 'poor witness info,' a 'delayed 911 call' and the girlfriend saying she did not remember who had been the aggressor in the situation."

Attorney Jordan Kushner who represents Thompson made the following statement in support of his client.

"Mr. Thompson challenges the authenticity of the police reports that have been circulated to the press. Mr. Thompson and his wife - the only person whom Mr. Thompson would have been with at the times of the incidents - categorically deny that any of the inflammatory allegations (including but not limited to choking anyone or exposing himself) ever occurred. Mr. Thompson’s wife further does not recall and does not believe she ever made such allegations."

In a good denial, we are looking to see if the person denied the act. This is done by saying, "I didn't do it." Since Thompson’s attorney is giving this statement, we expect his attorney to say, "Mr. Thompson didn't do these things" or to more specific, "Mr. Thompson didn't threaten to choke his wife/girlfriend." Challenging the authenticity of a police report is not the same thing as denying the act.

I am still watching this but I have found that when people use the phrase, "categorically deny," they are usually guilty of something. The word "deny" can mean "to refuse to accept." When people "deny" doing something, they may be refusing to accept the fact they did commit the act. Perhaps Thompson's attorney is refusing to believe these things happened.

Saying that Mr. Thompson's wife does not recall and does not believe, shows a lack of commitment to the idea he didn't do these things.

Things are not looking good for the congressman.

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