Abuse allegations not looking well on Keith Ellison

Tiana Meador

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As of Sunday, Karin Housley, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate officially threw in the towel and requested that a full investigation be done on Minnesota’s Rep. Keith Ellison, looking into the allegations of domestic violence, both physical and emotional towards his former girlfriend, Karen Monahan.  

However, on Monday, Oct.1, Minnesota’s Democrats met with something new in the air- not a good feeling either. The party-led investigation found that the domestic-abuse allegations were left “unsubstantiated,” as Susan Ellingstad, a Minneapolis attorney who had been hired by the Minnesota DFL, said her internal investigation was “Unable to substantiate.”

“I don’t know why anyone would be surprised by that. The Democratic Party hires lawyers close to the Democratic Party to investigate a sensitive candidate, and they come back saying ‘not enough here, I don’t think that was surprising,” said University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs, in an article for The Washington Times. 

But the question remains, whether or not the allegations are true, how can Ellison recover from such a negative spotlight?

“I believe women who come forward must be heard, and to have their allegations fully investigated,” Ellison said. “This is why I have complied with this investigation fully, and will do so with any other inquiries. … At this time, I will be focusing on the issues of this important election.”

Ellison, choosing to conduct some public relations efforts in the direction of the #MeToo movement is seeming to comply with everything requested of him- a trend we are witnessing amongst many of those men being investigated for mal-conduct, such as Brett Kavanaugh.

But in this case, Ellison’s party is complying in backing him.

In a statement, DFL Chairman Ken Martin said, “The investigation report, which was released today without our knowledge by someone outside of our organization, was unable to substantiate the claim of physical abuse made by Ms. Monahan,” however, “For the purpose of objectivity and getting all of the facts regarding these allegations, we have decided to forward the information in the investigation to local authorities in order to let them review the contents and determine whether further investigation is warranted.” 

The allegations were Ellison’s ex-girlfriend, Monahan, claimed, “Ellison dragged her off a bed by her feet while screaming obscenities at her in 2016,” she stated that she had footage proof of the incident, and strategically pushed the allegation days before the Democratic primary for Minnesota attorney general.

This whole situation is rather frustrating, and puts Democrats in a weird position, where they want to support the #MeToo movement, and allow all women to speak and be heard, but they also cannot charge someone with unsubstantiated allegations.

Alex Pappas, reporter for Fox News said,A draft report obtained by the AP noted Monahan’s shifting rationale for refusing to produce the video footage, including that it was lost, was on a USB drive in storage and would be too embarrassing and traumatic to release it.”

“I’ve been smeared, threatened, isolated from my own party. I provided medical records from 2017, stating on two different Dr. Visits, I told them about the abuse and who did it. My therapist released records stating I have been dealing and healing from the abuse,” said Monan.

However, this is not a matter of believing or not, its that she made the allegations stating she had proof, but has repeatedly shifted on her ability to provide it.

“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,” added Monan.

This is an emergent trend however, where when someone us up for position in office, or another position of power, women start coming forth with allegations- and then seemingly, fall through the cracks.

But the #MeToo movement has its switchiness, when it comes to lawful and fair investigations.

Monan said, “The fact that both parties only care if it scores political points is hypocritical, do you think a person who has dealt with any form of abuse by politicians is thinking about politics? No, we & are families are trying to heal.”

But the question remains, why make it political, if it was never her intent?

Nevertheless, the investigation is ongoing, as Martin, has decided the investigation needs to be pushed to law enforcement for further review.

Briana Bierschbach said in a report with MPR News, “The investigation took weeks and included messages, doctor’s notes and interviews with Ellison, Monahan and others.”

“We understand the public’s desire for definitive answers in this matter, but absent substantiated evidence that proves the claim or definitive exculpatory evidence, we believe it is prudent to ask law enforcement authorities to review the information as a final step in this process,” said Martin in his statement.

Although it may feel like her situation is being disregarded, Monan’s claims are not being taken lightly, and must be thoroughly, lawfully, and fairly evaluated.

“It’s still unclear which law enforcement agency will conduct the review. The party late Monday said it would ask the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes misdemeanor criminal cases within city limits, to take a look. Shortly after that, however, the city attorney’s office said it had a potential conflict of interest — Jeremiah Ellison, Keith Ellison’s son, sits on the Minneapolis City Council — and was seeking another jurisdiction to review the matter,” said Biersbach.

Claims such as this tend to dig up many years of details that may no longer even be applicable, as we are witnessing in Kavanaugh’s trials. However, as both parties make an effort to push towards an equal “hearing out” per se, rather than the #MeToo movement, which tends to be more left-centered, we see the investigations become less timely. 

Whether this is good or not for the victim, only the final decision can tell.