In August, merely a few days before Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) was set to win the Democratic nomination to serve as Minnesota’s attorney general, his former girlfriend, Karen Monahan, released scathing details alleging both verbal and physical abuse against her during their relationship. In an attempt to clear his name, the representative is calling for a federal investigation into the past relationship.
“Today I am announcing that I will submit a request for a House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations against me raised by a former partner,” said Ellison, the current vice chair of the DNC, in a public statement reported by BuzzFeed News. “I am taking this step now because I am innocent and eager to see this entire matter resolved. In addition to any House Ethics investigation,” Ellison continued, “an independent investigation has been conducted by an independent attorney. I have complied fully with that investigation, the results of which should be made public soon. These allegations have lingered in the public sphere, and remain unsubstantiated. I welcome an investigation by the House to allow us to move on.”
During the AG electoral race, Monahan took to her social media accounts to talk about her history of being a “domestic violence survivor” in the era of #MeToo, though she never directly cited Ellison by name as her alleged domestic abuser. According to a new report from Refinery29, it wasn’t until her son, Austin Monahan, wrote a lengthy Facebook post that news officially went public, claiming he saw unreleased footage of the progressive representative forcing his lover to leave the house in a fit of rage.
“In the middle of 2017, I was using my [mother’s] computer trying to download something and I clicked on a file, I found over 100 text and Twitter messages and video almost [two minutes] long that showed Keith Ellison dragging my mama off the bed by her feet, screaming, and calling her a ‘fucking bitch’ and telling her to get the fuck out of his house,” Austin wrote. “I used to believe Democrats were the ones who would stand by a person who went through this kind of abuse, now I know both Democrats and Republicans could care less when it comes to violence toward women and girls.”
Ellison, of course, has vehemently denied any wrong-doing.
“Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being,” Ellison said in his original statement. “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.” Monahan, however, wasn’t buying these fluffy words, echoing her son’s remarks by writing on Twitter:
“What my son said is true. Every statement he made was true. @keithellison,” she continued, “you know you did that to me. I have given every opportunity to get help and heal. Even now, u r willing to say my son is lying and have me continue to leak more text and info just so others will believe him. For you to get help and heal. Told u that would be what I would could consider a Just ending to this hell my family and I have been through. I said that the night before u announced ur run 4 AG.”
Last week, Monahan’s claims caught media attention when she released medical documents to further contextualize how she’s processed since 2016. According to the patient progress notes, signed by Dr. Jodi Milburn earlier this month, Monahan had discussed this abusive relationship with medical professionals years prior to the narrative entering the media spotlight. The doctor notes that while “she did not have any physical injuries that required a physical examination in the past,” she’s used therapy as her method of coping with this alleged psychological trauma.
This tweet was followed by her lengthy statement released to Fox 9, offering the local journalists insight into their long-term relationship until she reportedly left Ellison in January 2017 upon developing “complex PTSD.” Monahan states: “Throughout the relationship he would say and do things and then gaslight me when I would ask what was going on. He would make me think I was crazy for suspecting things I had heard or had seen.” She continued to accuse the representative of “pathological lying, cheating,” and “smearing my name” whenever questioned about his behavior.
She describes a specific event in 2016, stating:
“One night I confronted him very calm about a lie he had just told me straight to my face. What happened next was a rage that I had never witnessed to that magnitude. He was becoming a person I had never seen before. The next morning, he came into the room I was sleeping in. I was laying across the bed with my headphones on, listening to podcast on my phone. He said he was about to leave town for the weekend and told me to take the trash out.
Given the explosive outrage that occurred the night before, I just should shook my head yes. I didn’t look up at him or saying anything. That is when he tried to drag me off the bed by my legs and feet, screaming “bitch you answer when I am talking to you. I said take out the trash, your a bad guest (even though we were living in the same place). He kept trying to drag me off the bed, telling me to get the fuck out of his house, over and over. I froze. He had to leave and get on the plane. He knocked the shoe off my foot and told me I better be gone when he gets back (which was in two days).”
Monahan’s allegations are consistent with reports from 2006 surrounding Ellison’s former lover, progressive activist Amy Louise Alexander, who claims their affair relationship was littered with the same kind of threats, verbal harassment, and violence circulating in the media right now.
In this instance, Ellison outright denied ever having a sexual encounter with Alexander, let alone a friendly one, pleading that he was strictly faithful to his relationship with his ex-wife, Kim Ellison, which ended in divorce only five years later. There are also reports showing Alexander was involved in a tense legal battle where Ellison filed a restraining order against her, which was eventually granted by the judge, while her counter-request was denied.
As of now, the story remains in the state of a ‘he said, she said,’ common of most cases in the #MeToo era of abuse, forcing readers to question both sides as to the integrity of their character. Until Monahan releases the footage (which she claims to still have) to investigators, we’re left with another politician facing a firing squad with little evidence to justify the response. This case comes at a time when two women — Christine Ford and Deborah Ramirez — have taken the fight to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, giving GOP devotees and the center-right a narrative that Democratic abusers are being left unscathed by #MeToo.
This was the truth during the years of former president Clinton, but even Ellison’s Democratic colleagues, such as Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), have publicly called for investigations into their DNC superior as he’s heading into an election against Republican challenger Doug Wardlow. TrigTent will keep readers updated on these investigative results, but the race for Minnesota’s head law enforcer remains up in the air as Ellison only holds a 41 to 36 percent approval over his GOP challenger, according to a recent poll from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.