DFL Launches Investigation into Ellison Allegations; Party Chair Supports Him 'At This Point'

August 16, 2018 10:19 PM

Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Laborer Party leaders addressed domestic abuse allegations involving Congressman Keith Ellison during a Thursday news conference, just two days after he won the party’s primary for attorney general.

DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said Ellison has their support for now as the party’s candidate.     


"We take these allegations seriously, we are certainly eager to hear all the answers to the questions that have been raised,” said Martin.

RELATED: Ellison Wins DFL Vote, Wardlow Wins for GOP in State Attorney General Primary

“We continue to watch the story develop, we don't know how it's going to develop and the conclusion at this point."

Ellison has denied allegations of domestic abuse made against him by an ex-girlfriend days before the election.

Karen Monahan told KSTP earlier this week she has a video from 2016 that shows Ellison dragging her off a bed while screaming obscenities at her.

"We're going to talk about this in the days to come, we are going to honor you guys, we're not trying to avoid the topic, we will handle it head on, they are not true," Ellison said about the allegations on election night.

RELATED: Ellison Denies Domestic Abuse Allegations

Martin said the party’s lawyers have launched their own investigation into the allegations.

"I think it's important to be prudent, to not jump to any conclusion, and take allegations seriously, as they should be," Martin said.

At the DFL Party Unity Post-Election News Conference that was billed to unify the party after non-endorsed candidates won races, the Ellison issue was brought up by reporters.

"I still continue to support Keith Ellison for attorney general," said Gov. Mark Dayton.  “I have no reservations about saying Keith Ellison would be the vastly superior candidate.”

RELATED: Ellison Abuse Accusations Top Minneapolis Congressional Debate

The National Organization of Women came out asking for Ellison to withdraw from the race for attorney general.

“If the allegations are true, Keith Ellison has no right to serve as the state’s chief legal officer,” said Toni Van Pelt, NOW President.

Carleton College professor Steven Schier says the NOW statement is a major development in this story, due to their influence inside the party.

RELATED: Primary Tuesday Will Tell if Accusations Against Ellison are Damaging

"They want Keith Ellison to step down, that will produce a lot of controversy within the party, and it probably won't end anytime soon," Schier said.   

Ellison picked up a key endorsement Thursday in the race for attorney general from the Minnesota AFL-CIO.

On Saturday, the DFL Central Committee will meet to discuss endorsing candidates who won the primary, but were not previously endorsed by the party.

Ellison was not the party’s endorsed candidate for attorney general, coming in after the party’s convention.


Eric Chaloux

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