‘I am taking this step now because I am innocent and eager to see this entire matter resolved…’
(Jessie Van Berkel, Star Tribune – Minneapolis) Embattled Rep. Keith Ellison on Wednesday asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate his former girlfriend’s allegation that he physically abused her.
“I am taking this step now because I am innocent and eager to see this entire matter resolved,” Ellison, the Democratic candidate for Minnesota attorney general, said in a statement.
Ellison has repeatedly denied the abuse allegation by his former girlfriend, Karen Monahan. She has said she was in an emotionally abusive relationship with the congressman, and during a fight in 2016 he screamed obscenities at her while trying to drag her off a bed by her legs and feet.
As decades-old sexual abuse allegations pushed by Congressional Democrats against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have jeopardized his confirmation to the court, Ellison’s case has taken on new weight as a symbol of Left-wing hypocrisy.
“These allegations have lingered in the public sphere, and remain unsubstantiated. I welcome an investigation by the House to allow us to move on,” his statement said. Ellison first released his call for an investigation to BuzzFeed News.
The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party has hired attorney Susan Ellingstad to conduct a separate investigation. Ellingstad is a partner at the firm where attorney Charles Nauen, who represents the DFL, works. DFL Chairman Ken Martin said on Tuesday that the investigation was finished or close to finished and would be released soon.
Ellison is also deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee. After the domestic abuse allegation emerged in August, the DNC said it is looking into what happened.
“All allegations of domestic abuse are disturbing and should be taken seriously. We are working with the Minnesota state party to review these allegations,” a DNC spokeswoman said in a statement Wednesday morning, declining to comment further.
The Democratic Party’s choice of Ellingstad to conduct the investigation was met with derision from many who said she is not independent, including Donald Trump Jr., who mocked the investigation in a Tweet Wednesday.
The firm Ellingstad works for, Lockridge Grindal Nauen, has a political committee that has donated to both Republican and Democratic candidates, including Ellison, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The contributions to Democrats outweigh the Republicans by a margin of about four to one.
Ellison’s statement Wednesday said an independent attorney conducted that investigation, that he has complied fully and expects the results to be released soon.
Monahan’s allegation first surfaced in August, days before the primary election. At the time, many Democratic candidates called for an investigation and said if the allegation is true he should step down and end his campaign.
Nonetheless, the DFL Party endorsed Ellison after the primary. At a news conference shortly after the primary, Martin said the party has its lawyers and others looking into the allegation, including text messages between Monahan and Ellison.
“I think it’s important for us to be prudent, not to jump to any conclusion, to take this allegation seriously,” Martin said at the time.
Monahan previously told the Minneapolis Star Tribune she is not trying to convince anyone, but is willing to talk to the DNC or others about what happened. She said she reached out to Martin and offered to meet with him along with her son and others who were aware of the situation.
Her story first became public when Monahan’s son posted about the alleged incident on Facebook in August, saying that last year he came across a video on his mother’s computer of Ellison dragging his mother.
She affirmed her son’s Facebook post shortly after he wrote it. Monahan said she recorded the incident, which she told CBS News was the only instance of physical violence during their relationship. She has declined to share the video, and has said it is traumatizing. She also told CNN she misplaced it. Ellison has said such a video cannot exist, and called the allegation “painful” and “not true.”
She recently posted two medical records on social media that show in 2017 she told a doctor she was in an emotionally abusive relationship. One of the records states she identified Ellison and mentioned physical abuse, but it notes she didn’t have any physical injuries requiring examination in the past. She told the doctor she was fearful of retribution if she publicly identifies him.
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