Keith Ellison, the DNC Deputy chairman and US Representative from Minnesota’s 5th District, was accused of domestic abuse on social media over the weekend by his former girlfriend Karen Monahan and her son Austin Aslim Monahan.
“If you care about my mother please share.”
In an emotional Facebook post made on Saturday night (which began “Please read, if you care about my mother please share”) Austin Monahan gave an account of a startling discovery he made in 2017:
“I was using my moms computer trying to download something and I clicked on a file, I found over 100 text and twitters messages and video almost 2 min 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.
“The messages I found, were mixed with him consistently telling my mom he wanted her back, he missed her, he knew he fucked up and we wished he could do things different, he would victim shaming, bully her, and threaten her if she went public.”
Mr Monahan says he spoke to his mother, who eventually confirmed the abuse to him, but begged him not to go public. After months of observing her request, he has finally decided to come forward. Speaking of his disillusionment, he continued:
“I use to believe the 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.”
Keith Ellison responds
In a statement released yesterday, Representative Ellison denied the allegations. Speaking of Ms Monahan, he said:
“Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being.”
Then, addressing the key material evidence, he continued, “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”
As Austin Monahan does not have access to the video in question to verify his story, the denial by Keith Ellison could have ended the matter. Shortly after Ellison’s denial was made public, however, Karen Monahan herself went on Twitter to confirm her son’s account.
“I had survived narcissist abuse”
Speaking on Twitter, Monahan said, “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.”
And leak Ms Monahan did. Following this tweet she posted images of text messages between her and one “Dc,” who she implied was Keith Ellison. Although far from conclusive, the texts did correspond with the accounts given by Ms Monahan and her son.
Monahan then released an extended statement of her own, which was published in full by Minnesota’s Fox 9 television. It included her own account of the incident on the bed from the video (“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.'”) and several damning descriptions of her relationship with Keith Ellison (including the statements that she had “survived narcissistic abuse” and that Ellison had engaged in “gaslighting” and “victim shaming”).
Very bad timing for Keith Ellison
The timing of the allegations could not be worse for Representative Ellison. Although not standing for Congress again this year, he is currently seeking the office of Attorney General in Minnesota and will appear on the Democratic primary ballot tomorrow.
The only woman among the four other candidates on the ballot, State Senator Debra Hilstrom, is calling for Ellison address the allegations more fully:
This post was brought to my attention because I was tagged in this post. Domestic Violence is never ok. The incidents described are troubling. I call on Keith Ellison to answer these allegations.https://t.co/CQ1LSVfZqf
— Debra Hilstrom (@debrahilstrom) 12 August 2018
Ellison is not the only Minnesota Democrat seeking statewide office while facing #MeToo-related allegations. Current US Rep for District 8, Rick Nolan, is currently running for the Lieutenant Governorship but is facing calls to resign after rehiring a former staffer who faced several charges of sexual harassment.
Both Nolan and Ellison maintain they have done nothing wrong. Will Minnesota voters agree?