Democratic National Convention Co-Chair Keith Ellison was involved in a “long-term relationship” with Karen Monahan that ended in 2016. The Associated Press reports that Monahan’s 25-year-old son, Austin, stated in a Facebook post Saturday night that Ellison had abused his mother. Monahan later responded, affirming Austin’s charges. Ellison has denied the charges. This Tuesday he will be on the ballot for Minnesota’s state attorney general position.
In his Facebook post, Austin Monahan claimed to have seen hundreds of angry texts from Ellison on his mother’s phone. In some of them, Ellison threatened his mother. He also claimed to have seen a video in which the political organizer was dragging Karen Monahan off a bed by her feet. He added, “My brother and I watched our mom come out of pure hell after getting out of her relationship with Keith Ellison.” Sunday, Karen Monahan tweeted support of her son’s statement.
“What my son said is true. Every statement he made was true. @keithellison, 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.”
Ellison issued a statement through a campaign spokesman.
“Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being. This video does not exist because I have never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”
The Associated Press had reached out to Monahan in recent weeks in responses to a long string of tweets from her account over the last few months that reference abuse she suffered at the hands of a powerful but unidentified man. The media outlet also requested a copy of the text messages and the video but has not received a response.
Minnesota Public Radio News (MPR), however, was able to obtain copies of the over 100 text and Twitter messages to which Monahan referred. The communications took place after Ellison and Monahan broke up. The tone of the messages varied with some being free of conflict and others being “combative.” They didn’t find anything they reviewed to be indicative of physical abuse. They did point out one particular message in which Monahan told Ellison that she was going to chronicle her “journey.” He responded that to do so would be a “horrible attack on my privacy.”
Fox News reports that Tom Foley, a former Ramsey County attorney and another candidate in Tuesday’s state attorney election, made a public statement in which he said that if records of the texts and a copy of the video exist, they should be turned over to authorities immediately so an investigation can be conducted.