The allegations of abuse against Keith Ellison aren't going away

Back in August, the son of a former girlfriend of Rep. Keith Ellison alleged that the Minnesota Democrat had...

Posted: Sep 24, 2018 6:31 AM
Updated: Sep 24, 2018 6:31 AM

Back in August, the son of a former girlfriend of Rep. Keith Ellison alleged that the Minnesota Democrat had abused his mother in the course of that relationship.

Austin Monahan said he found a video on his mother's computer showing that Ellison had forcefully tried to drag her off of a bed while swearing at her. Ellison denied the allegations and suggested they were politically motivated -- coming just days before Minnesota's Democratic primary for attorney general.

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Karen Monahan

Keith Ellison

Misc people

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

Primaries and caucuses

US Democratic Party

US political parties

Brett Kavanaugh

Continents and regions

Midwestern United States

Minnesota

North America

The Americas

United States

"Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being," Ellison said at the time. "This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false."

Despite the fact that the story drew national attention -- Ellison had become a major figure within the party when he ran unsuccessfully to be the chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2017 -- the Minnesota Democrat went on to win the primary days later. (Ellison also serves as the deputy chairman of the DNC below the man who beat him out for the top job: Tom Perez.)

CNN was in the process of reporting the story when Monahan's son went public with the allegations. CNN has asked to view the video, but Monahan said she misplaced it when moving and provided no other evidence to corroborate her story at the time.

KFile: Keith Ellison denies allegations he abused ex-girlfriend

The story went dormant for a few weeks -- although Ellison had promised to "talk more about it in the coming days." That all changed earlier this week, when Karen Monahan began to tweet again about the allegations.

She tweeted this: "Four people, including my supervisor at the time, stated that I came to them after and shared the exact story I shared publicly, I shared multiple text between me and Keith, where I discuss the abuse with him and much more. As I said before, I knew I wouldn't be believed."

And this: "I expected everything that has taken place, before I decided to break my silence. I even stated it in my original statement. I showed up for myself & that was a huge piece of my healing."

And, this: "My grand baby deserves a world where human dignity is not a political tool for your parties interest. #metoo"

The allegations by Monahan have also received a re-airing coming as they do amid accusations of sexual assault from a California professor named Christine Blasey Ford directed at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The Ford allegations deal with an alleged incident at a party 35 years ago in which she says Kavanaugh laid on top of her and attempted to pull her one-piece bathing suit off. Kavanaugh has categorically denied the charge. Negotiations are ongoing to get Ford in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee sometime next week to tell her story. Kavanaugh has already agreed to testify.

Republicans have cried foul about the coverage disparity between the Kavanaugh allegations and those aimed at Ellison -- insisting that the only obvious difference between the two cases is that Ellison is a Democrat and Kavanaugh is a Republican.

Ellison's campaign has repeatedly refused requests for comment on Monahan's latest series of tweets. The last press release on Ellison's campaign website is from September 7 and deals with attempts by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Polling conducted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio last week suggests that voters in Minnesota want more information about the alleged incident. Almost six in 10 said they didn't know if they believed Monahan's accusations about Ellison. A roughly equal number said they believed her accusations (21%) and said they didn't believe her (22%). Lingering doubts about what actually happened -- and whether Ellison is culpable -- do seem to be dragging down the congressman; he had a narrow 5-point edge over a little-known Republican in the attorney general's race in that same poll.

"You know, I don't think everybody that is accused is guilty," Janet Olson, an Ellison supporter, told the Star Tribune. "But then again, I don't know. I don't know why somebody would say something if it isn't true, so I'm having trouble with that one."

It's hard to see how Ellison can continue to say nothing -- or refer reporters back to his initial statement in August -- in light of Monahan's tweets this week, the ongoing uncertainty within the Minnesota electorate and his tenuous position in the AG race. What's clear is that neither Monahan nor this story is going to go away between now and November 6. Which means for the good of the Minnesota voters -- and for Ellison's political career -- silence in the face of these accusations probably isn't going to cut it.

West Lafayette
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 83°
Kokomo
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 73°
Rensselaer
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 73°
Fowler
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 73°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 81°
Crawfordsville
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 78°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 84°
Delphi
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Monticello
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 81°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events