Next Steps: DFL Party Wants Outside Law Enforcement Review of Ellison Investigation

October 01, 2018 10:25 PM

An 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 with links to the state's Democratic party who was hired to investigate the claims concluded in a draft report obtained by The Associated Press.

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“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,” wrote DFL party chair Ken Martin.

RELATED: Attorney: Ellison Abuse Claim Unsubstantiated 

The DFL party said they would ask the City of Minneapolis Attorney’s Office for review.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned that office will decline to review the matter due to a possible conflict of interest.

The party launched an investigation after Karen Monahan alleged in August that the Democratic congressman dragged her off a bed by her feet while screaming obscenities at her in 2016. Ellison, also a deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has denied the accusation.

“I believe women who come forward must be heard, and to have their allegations fully investigated,” wrote Congressman Ellison in a statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. “This is why I have complied with this investigation fully, and will do so with any other inquiries.”

Monahan said she had video footage of the incident and leveled the allegation just days before a crowded Democratic primary for
Minnesota attorney general that Ellison went on to win. But she declined to turn over the video during the investigation conducted by attorney Susan Ellingstad, a partner at the same Minnesota law firm as Charlie Nauen, the top lawyer for Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor party.

In her report, Ellingstad noted 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 was too embarrassing and traumatic to release. Ellingstad also wrote that Monahan would not allow her to view the footage privately and that Monahan's sons — who claimed to have seen the video — declined interviews.

RELATED: Ellison Formally Submits Letter Requesting House Ethics Committee Investigation into Abuse Allegations 

"I haven't seen the report, it was not provided to me or Karen," said Andrew Parker, Karen Monahan's attorney. "It’s troubling how it got out."

Parker added, "This is a victim of serious emotional abuse, leading to physical abuse. She should not have to make this video public or show it to anyone privately when she has so much corroborating evidence."

In a message to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Monahan said she shared medical records, therapy notes and text messages with the investigator, along with connecting the lawyer to people who knew about the incident.

“This is why I didn’t tell and I said it from the beginning, I didn’t expect to be heard, believed or validated,” Monahan wrote. “There is so much to be revealed when this is all over."

RELATED: Ellison Asks House Ethics Committee to Investigate Allegations by Ex-Girlfriend 

ABC News Political Director Rick Klein said Washington is watching this new development.

"A report that was commissioned by Democrats, that says something is unsubstantiated, that is not going to be the final word, this is going to continue,” Klein said. “It's going to continue to be a campaign issue and could still be a legal issue for Keith Ellison, notwithstanding this report and it's apparent effort to exonerate him."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Eric Chaloux

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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