Democrats Break Silence On Abuse Claims Against Rep. Keith Ellison

Rep. Keith Ellison
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee member Mazie Hirono called on Sunday for an investigation into Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison’s alleged abuse of his ex-girlfriend, CNN.com reports.

The Democrats have come under fire recently for perceived hypocrisy in pursuing an investigation into alleged sexual abuse by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh while ignoring the allegations against Ellison. Yesterday Hirono, a Democratic senator from Hawaii and harsh critic of Kavanaugh’s nomination, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that a probe into Ellison’s behavior would be appropriate.

“I have been very clear that I make no excuses for anybody who engages in this kind of behavior,” said Hirono. “And, as far as Keith Ellison, these allegations need to be investigated, and appropriate action taken.”

While the turmoil over Kavanaugh’s nomination has come to a head regarding his alleged sexual assault of Christine Blasey Ford more than 30 years ago while the two were in high school, Democrats have been largely silent regarding the allegations against Ellison.

Ellison’s ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, claims that Ellison was verbally and physically abusive throughout their relationship. She also claims that she has been upfront with the Democratic Party regarding Ellison’s alleged abuse, but that they have refused to believe her or pursue the matter.

Monahan’s son, Austin, claims that he saw a video on his mother’s computer showing Ellison swearing at his mother and dragging her off a bed.

Ellison, for his part, denies the allegations and claims that the video does not and can not exist. Monahan is unable to provide the video, telling CNN that she misplaced it during a move.

Last week, Monahan posted a picture of a medical record from a hospital visit in 2017, in which she describes her abuse at the hands of Ellison.

Ellison had previously told the Star Tribune that the allegations were personal, painful, and untrue, though he declined to comment to the paper regarding Monahan’s tweet of the medical record.

A recent Star Tribune/MPR News Minnesota poll showed that while 21 percent of respondents believe Monahan’s allegations and 22 percent do not, the majority, 57 percent, are still undecided as to whether Ellison is guilty or not.

Ellison, who in addition to being a United States representative is also deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, is currently running to be attorney general of Minnesota.

It is unclear at this point what effect the allegations will have on voters in the November election, where Ellison is running against Republican Doug Wardlow for the AG job.