Ellison grilled about abuse allegations at Minnesota AG debate

Ellison grilled about abuse allegations at Minnesota AG debate
© Greg Nash

Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonDemocrats must stand up for Israel Ilhan Omar calls her election to Congress a rejection of ‘religious bigotry’ Minnesota New Members 2019 MORE (D-Minn.) was pressed Friday during a televised debate on allegations of domestic abuse that have been raised against him by an ex-girlfriend.

Ellison, who is running for Minnesota's attorney general, denied the allegations when they came to light in August and did so again Friday night, saying they were “not true.”

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“There is an ongoing investigation,” Ellison added, “which we hope will conclude.”

Asked if any more women could come forward with allegations, Ellison responded, “In this political environment, I don’t know what somebody might cook up. But I could tell you that there is absolutely nobody that I am aware of who is threatening or suggesting or who has ever made a prior accusation about me.” 

The allegations against Ellison first arose after Karen Monahan’s son alleged in a lengthy Facebook post that he watched a video of Ellison dragging his mother off a bed and shouting profanities at her.

The post quickly went viral. Austin Aslim Monahan, Monahan’s son, said he didn’t have possession of the video, but his mother verified his account. 

“This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false,” Ellison said in the statement in August. 

The allegations gained steam again this week after Karen Monahan began tweeting about the alleged incident. 

“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,” she tweeted Monday.

An MPR News/Star Tribune Minnesota poll released Tuesday shows 21 percent of registered Minnesota voters believe the allegations, while 22 percent do not. Ellison has a 5-point edge in the poll over his Republican challenger, Doug Wardlow.