Democratic Missouri State Senator Censured, Not Expelled Following Assassination Post

Maria Chappelle-Nadal / Facebook
September 14, 2017

Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D.) has been censured by the state government after she posted in the wake of the Charlottesville, Va. violence, "I hope Trump is Assassinated!" on Facebook.

The Missouri Senate censured Chappelle-Nadal by a 28-2 vote, The Washington Post reported. Following the August social media post, the senator apologized to President Donald Trump and his family, but said she would not resign.

"President Trump, I apologize to you and your family. I also apologize to all of the people in Missouri," She said. "I also apologize to my colleagues in the Missouri legislature for the mistake that I made. I will continue to fight for issues that are really, really important to me."

Chappelle-Nadal's refusal to resign stood in opposition to many of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle who called for her resignation. High-ranking officials including U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D.), U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay (D.), and Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R.) were among those who called for the senator to resign.

Missouri's largest newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, also called for her resignation shortly after the Facebook post.

The paper's editorial board wrote that "no clear-thinking public figure" would express hopes for an assassination of the president, no matter how angry she was over his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Under Missouri law, it would take a two-thirds majority to expel her from the senate. The Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe said that while the Senate fell short of that majority at this time, it could choose to expel Chappel-Nadal in the future.

The vote marked the first censure in the Missouri Senate’s history, according to Kehoe. The two "no" votes came from Democrats.

Shortly after the Facebook post, and before her apology to Trump, the senator was also under fire after she retweeted a Holocuast-themed tweet directed at Greitens, Missouri's first Jewish governor.

Despite the public condemnation from individuals on both sides of the aisle, the Democratic lawmaker said her constituents are standing by her in an overwhelming number.

"The calls I get are, 'you did something wrong, and we stand by you,'" she said.

Chappelle-Nadal has been removed from committee assignments, and both of her widely condemned social media posts have been taken down.