Morning Canary – Update: Allegations Against Ellison “Unsubstantiated”

Canary. Photo by 4028mdk09.

In an update to the TNB story, U.S. Rep Under Fire for Abuse Allegations, about allegations Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-D) physically abused his ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan, allegations Ellison continues to deny, was investigated by a lawyer hired by the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) – Minnesota state affiliation of the “Progressive Movement” within the Democratic Party.

The Associated Press reported yesterday, “ex-girlfriend’s allegation that Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison once physically abused her could not be substantiated because she refused to provide video she said she had of the incident, an attorney hired to investigate the claims concluded in a draft report obtained Monday by The Associated Press,” but said the state’s Democratic party spokesman did not confirm the authenticity of the draft investigation report the AP obtained. 

After questions the Democratic party was unwilling to investigate one of their own, “the state’s Democratic party launched an investigation” last week, the AP said.

A draft report obtained by the AP notes Monahan’s shifting rationale for refusing to produce the video footage, including that it was lost, on a USB drive in storage or that it would be too embarrassing and traumatic to release. Ellingstad also wrote in her report that Monahan would not allow her to view the footage privately.

“An allegation standing alone is not necessarily sufficient to conclude that conduct occurred, particularly where the accusing party declines to produce supporting evidence that she herself asserts exists,” Ellingstad wrote. “She has thus repeatedly placed the existence of the video front and center to her allegations, but then has refused to disclose it.”

However, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Monday evening the Minnesota DFL had “referred an internal report on domestic abuse claim against Keith Ellison to local authorities for further investigation” on Monday, adding that “the party declined to release the report” Ellingstad produced.

“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,” read a statement released Monday afternoon by Ken Martin, the chairman of the DFL.

Ellison, the Star Tribune reports, said in a statement to reporters the ‘probe’ was “a thorough, independent and fair review,” but would not comment further and “sought to pivot back to discussing “the issues of this important election.”

Ellision, who is Minnesota’s US Congressional Rep for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district and is the new Democratic National Committee’s elected deputy chair, announced this past June that “he would not seek reelection to what would have been his 7th term, but instead sought the Minnesota Democratic primary election for Minnesota Attorney General. Ellison won his primary race August 14th and will face Republican Doug Wardlow in November.

Even as the attorney describes Monahan as “unwavering in her claim” the altercation happened and “found credibility both in Monahan’s specificity,” Ellison “was credible in his denial and truly seemed not to recall the incident ever happening,” the decision to forward the internal investigation to the city prosecutor’s office, the Star Tribune reports, “promised to keep alive lingering allegations.”

Monahan’s attorney Andrew Parker said, “he had not seen the report,” but added there may be “circumstances under which Monahan would be willing to share the video” as part of an investigation, but would not further elaborate. Ellison continues to maintain no video exists “because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”

Ellingstad works at the same firm, Lockridge Grindal Nauen, as DFL’s attorney Charles Nauen. Wardlow, the Republican candidate, stated, “”As predicted, the sham ‘investigation’ led by the DFL party attorney’s legal partner has concluded in favor of the party’s Attorney General candidate.”

However, Monahan’s lawyer Andrew Parker was also the employer where Wardlow “spent nearly half his law career worker for Parker. Parker said Monday that Wardlow was unaware that he has been representing Monahan for about a week.”

Meanwhile, Ellison is said to have “requested a U.S. House Ethics Committee investigation,” saying, “he is eager to resolve the matter.”

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