Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, who is currently a candidate to become his state’s attorney general, is denying allegations that he physically abused and mistreated an ex-girlfriend. Karen Monahan’s son, Austin Aslim Monahan, first made the allegations in a Facebook post on Saturday night, claiming there is video evidence of the abuse.
Monahan later confirmed it on Twitter.
Austin Aslim Monahan said in a Facebook post that he had seen a video on his mom’s computer that showed Ellison dragging Monahan off a bed as he yelled profanities at hear. In an interview with the Star Tribune, Austin Aslim Monahan said he did not have a copy of the video that he claims to have seen in 2017. Ellison, who serves as the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, flatly denies the allegation. “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false,” Ellison said in his statement. Ellison and Monahan were in a long-term relationship that ended in 2016.
Karen Monahan, however, stood by her son and wrote on Twitter that what he posted was true. “Every statement he made was true.@keithellison, you know you did that to me,” she wrote. “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 had tweeted about the #MeToo movement before and said she was a victim but had not previously explicitly mentioned Ellison’s name.
Karen Monahan also tweeted images of text messages that she claims were exchanges between her and Ellison. The context of those messages are hard to decipher but Minnesota Public Radio News said it had reviewed more than 100 texts and Twitter messages between Ellison and Monahan. Although some messages are “combative,” MPR News said “there is no evidence in the messages reviewed by MPR News of the alleged physical abuse.”
The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel pointed out on Twitter that the story had been circulating for a while in Minnesota but there were no stories about it because the allegations didn’t hold up “under media scrutiny.”
The accusations quickly became an issue in the race for Minnesota attorney general as Ellison’s rivals demanded he respond to the allegations earlier on Sunday. The six-term congressman has been considered the favorite to win Tuesday’s primary for Minnesota attorney general. He is facing off against four other Democrats.