Over the weekend, Minnesota Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison, a former candidate to head the Democrat National Committee who is now running for state attorney general, faced an accusation of domestic violence from a woman he was in a relationship with until 2016.
“The alleged incident between Ellison and Karen Monahan came to light Saturday night after her son posted about it on Facebook,” the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. “She then confirmed it on Twitter.”
The full letter, which can be seen here, is graphic and involves Ellison pulling Monahan off of her bed physically and calling her a “f***ing b****, apparently all on video.
In a Twitter post partly addressed to Ellison, Monahan stood by her son’s story.
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
— Karen Monahan (@KarenMonahan01) August 12, 2018
“What my son said is true. Every statement he made was true.@keithellison, you know you did that to me,” she wrote in a tweet. “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.”
“Ellison responded Sunday in a statement released by his campaign: ‘Karen and I were in a relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being,'” the Star-Tribune noted.
“He also denied dragging her off a bed, and said a video allegedly showing that does not exist because it never happened.”
Ellison is usually the one hurling accusations against others (usually Republicans.) The new allegations, however, brought to light a 2006 accusation from another woman that was mostly ignored during Ellison’s first election to Congress — and has nearly vanished from mention on the internet.
“I regret that like many, I too was duped by Keith Ellison’s considerable charm,” Minnesota Democrat activist Amy L. Alexander wrote in the Wright County Republican back in October of 2006. “I was seduced by the idea of what I thought he represented. As a perennial (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) activist from the north side of Minneapolis I worked for and with Ellison on a number of issues and community boards.”
Ellison eventually filed a harassment restraining order against Alexander, which is why she felt she needed to set the record straight on their relationship. She said that she had given in to his numerous romantic advances because she believed it would be good for her career. Then, she said, their “hot and cold romance devolved into a love/ hate showdown by spring of 1994. Keith belittled me about my weight and constantly criticized my every word and action. He ostracized me from the community on whose behalf I had worked so hard to advocate. Feeling exiled I escaped to New York for the next five years.”
By 2004, Alexander had returned to Minnesota and the relationship reignited, leading to an alleged incident of abuse when things fell apart in 2005.
“In May, Keith wanted to try and quiet me so he came to my home uninvited,” Alexander wrote. “We had words. His anger kicked in. He berated me. He grabbed me and pushed me out of the way. I was terrified. I called the police. As he fled he broke my screen door. I have never been so scared.”
And then, when Ellison ran for Congress, he tried to intimidate her into staying quiet, even with the restraining order.
“I obeyed the restraining order without exception. It was Keith’s friend and attorney who called me the day after the 2006 DFL endorsement convention to arrange a meeting,” she recalled.
“We met at The Modern Café. He offered me release from Keith’s restraining order if I either promised to shut up about our affairs or came out publicly in support of Keith’s candidacy for Congress. I refused. I asked them repeatedly to leave me alone. He called me again in July with the same offer. I reported that incident to police and the cops agreed to let the attorney know to leave me alone.”
Ellison, it must be noted, was married during this time, although that’s the least disturbing element of it all. Yet, in spite of the fact that this was a clear accusation of physical abuse, abuse of power and intimidation, none of the major news outlets really picked this one up.
Was it because of the fact that nobody believed Alexander? Well, the publisher of the Wright County Republican, Drew Emmer, made it clear he had spent 45 minutes interviewing her and found that her story matched up.
“After listening to Amy’s story and asking hundreds of questions about the details I am convinced that she is sane. Mind you, I’m not a psychiatrist or psychologist. I have thoroughly enjoyed talking to her by phone and in person. I can see where from time to time she may get a little goofy, especially when she talks about a man she was seriously emotionally involved with twice over a twenty year span. But every detail I have pursued about her story checks out.
“Amy is bright, funny and every bit as engaging as the candidate. Keith’s ‘she’s crazy’ defense doesn’t ring true and his gross characterization of a disabled woman is frightening,” he continued.
“His ‘I don’t even know her’ defense is ludicrous. She openly admits having some mental health issues (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress) and one must wonder how much this affair with Ellison did to inflame her problems. Amy’s admissions don’t give Ellison a free pass to engage in verbally and physically abusive extramarital relationships with her.”
He added that none of the local newspapers wanted to interview Alexander, presumably because it could open up some very uncomfortable questions. However, it’s not like they weren’t aware of it. Look at some of the message board screenshots at the time.
As for the original publication in which it appeared, it’s since gone defunct, leaving few copies remaining online — a strange circumstance, given the seriousness of the allegations.
A man who is a sitting member of Congress, who almost became the leader of the Democrat Party in the United States, and a woman’s accusations of abuse are almost impossible to find?
I suppose we could say that the mid-2000s were a pre-#MeToo era, a time when the idea of “believing the victim” wasn’t quite so much in plac. But in truth, the idea of believing the accuser has never never been in place for Democrats. It remains to be seen what the ramifications of this allegation will end up being. However, it would have been nice to see the media do its job in the first place.
For his part, Ellison has issued the usual pro forma denial of the Monohan allegations — “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false” — and his attorney general campaign continues unabated. Whether or not this will have any influence on Ellison’s re-election and continued ascent up the Democrat Party depth chart is anyone’s guess, but I would assume that even Rep. Ellison will have to finally answer in considerably more depth for something he should have answered for 12 years ago.
Could this be a fake smear campaign? Of course it could. However, if this is true, one can likely expect the sluice-gates of allegations to open up — and unlike 2006, he won’t be able to bury this stuff deep in the musky corners of the internet.
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