The Missouri State Senator who published a Facebook post calling for President Donald Trump’s assassination is refusing to resign despite finding herself in hot water with both the Secret Service and her fellow Democrats, according to the Kansas City Star.
In her response, State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal struck what the newspaper described as a “defiant” tone, saying that she published the post out of “anger and frustration” after President Donald Trump said “both sides” were to blame for an attack in Charlottesville Va. last weekend that killed one counter-protester and injured more than 20 others. She explained that it would be hypocritical for her to be punished for her speech when Trump makes similarly offensive comments on a regular basis.
“Out of anger and frustration, I said something that could have been reframed,” she said. “And I refuse to shy away from the hypocrisy and chaos our country is enduring under Trump.”
Somewhat ironically, Chappelle-Nadal accused the White House of “traumatizing” people of color, saying in a tweet that “when (people of color) are respected by this (White House) & they are willing to do real work, I’ll sit down with them. People are traumatized!”
I am not resigning. When POC are respected by this WH & they are willing to do real work, I'll sit down with them. People are traumatized! https://t.co/rmsL4pQSTg
— MariaChappelleNadal (@MariaChappelleN) August 18, 2017
Several of Missouri’s top Democrats, including Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Webber and US Senator Claire McCaskill, who is one of 10 Democratic senators from a state won by Trump, joined the growing chorus of local lawmakers insisting that Chappelle-Nadal should go, according to the Hill.
“The Missouri Democrat told CBS News that she thought Democratic state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal's Facebook post, in which she said, "I hope Trump is assassinated," was "outrageous."
‘I condemn it. It's outrageous," McCaskill said. "And she should resign.’”
Even House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, the Missouri legislature’s highest-ranking black Democrat, joined calls for Chappelle-Nadal’s resignation, saying she had “foreited the right” to hold office.
“Also calling for her resignation was House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, a Kansas City Democrat and the highest-ranking black lawmaker in Missouri.
‘Suggestions of violence have no place in our political discourse, and an elected official who expresses hope for someone’s murder has forfeited the right to hold office,’ McCann Beatty said. ‘Given state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s repugnant social media post suggesting the president should be assassinated, she must resign."
Meanwhile, the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus said it “does not condone” her comments, but stopped short of calling for Chappelle-Nadal to resign.
“Although we hold both offices in very high respects, their inappropriate behavior and disturbing comments only act as catalyst for more violence and racial division in our country.”
If she doesn’t go willingly, Chappelle-Nadal’s colleagues in the senate could vote to expel her using a provision of the Missouri Constitution that requires a two-thirds vote. Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has already endorsed her expulsion.
“Lt. Gov. Mike Parson’s office said Friday that he would call for Chappelle-Nadal’s expulsion from office under Article III, Section 18 of the Missouri Constitution, which allows the Senate to expel a member with a two-thirds vote.
Gov. Eric Greitens endorsed her removal by Senate vote in a statement Friday: “Senator Chappelle-Nadal said she hopes the President is killed. Republicans and Democrats have called on her to resign. Her response: ‘Hell no.’ Last night, in an interview, she refused to apologize — twice.
‘If she will not resign, the Senate can vote to remove her. I believe they should.’”
The controversy started last week when Chappelle-Nadal posted, then deleted a comment on Facebook which read, "I hope Trump is assassinated!" Unfortunately, as Chappelle-Nadal should have learned by now, the internet never forgets, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch managed to get its hands on the post and published it.
The Secret Service, which tends to take threats on the life of the President seriously, has already confirmed they're investigating the situation.
“The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a Facebook post from Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, in which she stated: "I hope Trump is assassinated!"
The U.S. Secret Service's St. Louis field office "is looking into this," the office confirmed.
Kristina Schmidt, special agent in charge, told the Post-Dispatch that "hypothetically" in such investigations, agents try to "determine intent, to determine if there was a violation of federal law. If there is, then we refer it to the U.S. Attorney."
‘Our primary goal is to determine if there is intent and meaning behind it,’ Schmidt said.”
As the pressure to resign or be fired continues to intensify, we suspect Chappelle-Nadal will be updating her LinkedIn page in the very near future, despite the best efforts of the fledgling "I Stand With Maria" movement, which is probably just her immediate friends and family, anyway.