After three days of silence, the Democratic National Committee has issued a comment on domestic abuse allegations that have been leveled against its deputy chairman, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison.
“These allegations recently came to light and we are reviewing them. All allegations of domestic abuse are disturbing and should be taken seriously,” the DNC said in a statement, according to NPR.
Karen Monahan, who said she and Ellison were in a relationship, has accused him of physically and verbally abusing her. Ellison has admitted to the relationship but denied any abuse.
Former DNC communications director Luis Miranda said the Democrats’ response was lame.
“The party has no choice but to suspend him, at a minimum, until they figure out what’s going on,” she said. “Frankly, it would be malpractice not to. We’ve made it clear we’re going to take these accusations seriously, at a minimum. We set too high a standard not to take this seriously.”
On Tuesday, Ellison easily won the Democratic nomination in the election for Minnesota’s attorney general.
Allegations against Ellison first became public over the weekend after Monahan’s son, Austin, posted about the alleged abuse on his Facebook page.
He said while going through his mother’s computer, he found a video “that showed Keith Ellison dragging my mama off the bed by her feet, screaming and calling her a ‘f—ing bitch’ and telling her to get the f— out of his house,” he wrote.
Monahan said her son told the truth, but will not produce the video.
“It’s humiliating, it’s traumatizing, for everyone’s family involved, and for me,” she told Minnesota Public Radio, saying that she is angry that she is not believed without producing the video.
“It sets the expectation for survivors of all kinds of forms of abuse, whether it be abuse toward women, abuse from police officers, abuse from other people in power, to have to be the ones, like I’m doing right now, to show and prove their stories,” she said. “It’s feeding into that.”
Monahan sent text messages to MPR that indicate she discussed the video with Ellison in December 2017. She also posted some exchanges on Twitter.
April 2018 pic.twitter.com/sNSvccEUON
— Karen Monahan (@KarenMonahan01) August 12, 2018
“We never discussed — the video I have of you trying to drag me off the bed,” one text said.
Monahan said Ellison was concerned about the connection between the two being made public and hurting his career.
“He said it could ruin his career. I said ‘Keith, I’m not the one who is ruining your career. You’re the one that chose to put your hands on me. You’re the one who chose to drag me off the bed. You’re the one who chose to gaslight me and manipulate me.’ He said, ‘Let me see the video,” she said.
Ellison has said he did nothing wrong.
“Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being,” Ellison said in a statement denying any claims of abuse. “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”
Monahan issued a statement Sunday about the alleged abuse, according to KMSP, which reproduced it in full. In the statement, she blames Ellison for ruining much of her life.
“One night I confronted him very calm about a lie he had just told me straight to my face. What happened next was a rage that I had never witnessed to that magnitude. He was becoming a person I had never seen before,” the statement said, adding that the next morning “he tried to drag me off the bed by my legs and feet, screaming ‘bitch you answer when I am talking to you. I said take out the trash, your a bad guest (even though we were living in the same place). He kept trying to drag me off the bed, telling me to get the f— out of his house, over and over.”
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