Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is contemplating his resignation from his post as deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee. Currently, Ellison is running a campaign for attorney general of Minnesota while he is also defending himself against allegations that he abused a former female companion, Karen Monahan. He told WCCO radio in Minneapolis today that he is focusing on the race. "You know, I've been evaluating that recently so we'll see. I need to put 100 percent of my time, energy and resources into the race and my office, so it is something I am taking into consideration," Ellison said. However, Ellison did not say whether Monahan’s allegations -- which he has denied -- will influence his decision.
Ellison has asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate the allegations. Prior to the airing of the allegations against him, Ellison announced that he would not stand for re-election for his seat in Congress so as to campaign for Minnesota attorney general.
It was Monahan’s son, Austin, who first aired accusations against Ellison in a Facebook post. Austin claimed that he saw Ellison in a video using offensive language at his mother while trying to drag her off a bed. Ellison told WCCO that the purported video "couldn't possibly exist because what is alleged didn't happen."
Monahan alleges that Ellison used the derogatory language on several occasions, and claims that he shouted "F--- you, b---" and "I hate you” when he dragged her off a bed..
Ellison has admitted, however, that he called Monahan a “bitch” while they argued about her spending. Lawyer Susan Ellingstad was hired by the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Laborer Party to write a report about the domestic abuse allegations. Ellingstad wrote: "An allegation standing alone is not necessarily sufficient to conclude that conduct occurred, particularly where the accusing party declines to produce supporting evidence that she herself asserts exists,"and added, "[Monahan] has thus repeatedly placed the existence of [a] video front and center to her allegations, but then has refused to disclose it.”
Finally, Ellingstad wrote:
"Mr. Ellison recalled only one time in 2013 where he called Ms. Monahan a ‘b----,’ following an argument over purchasing something that he thought was too expensive.”
Ellingstad is a partner in a law firm that donated more than $500,000 to Democrats since 1998. Of this, almost $50,000 went to Ellison's campaigns since 2004.
Monahan has not shared the video with media, and told CNN in August that the video is on a flash drive that is now in storage with her personal effects after a move. " Monahan has declined to reveal the video, saying that viewers are not entitled to see her “pain and trauma” and body exposed. She tweeted: “You are not entitled to my pain and trauma. You are not entitled to see me getting dragged, when my body is being exposed in more ways than one. This is my trauma, I dealt with the abuse. I have already shared more than I was originally comfortable with.”
Ellingstad wrote that Monahan’s accusations could not be substantiated. While the Minnesota Democrats referred the matter to local law enforcement, the Minneapolis Police Department said they cannot investigate due to a conflict of interest, but is negotiating with other agencies about referring the case. Ellison’s son currently serves on the Minneapolis city council.
According to Ellingstad’s draft report, Ellison expressed “shock, hurt, and disbelief that Ms. Monahan would make these allegations against him,” according to the Associated Press. The congressman believes that Monahan is making the allegations out of jealousy of his current female companion. The report noted that Monahan's "belief" that Ellison was double-timing her may have sparked the accusations.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.