Ellison domestic violence probe wrapping up

Keith Ellison
Keith Ellison

DFL chairman says it should be issued well before the November election.

Posted: Sep 25, 2018 12:09 PM
Updated: Sep 25, 2018 1:01 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's Democratic Party chairman said Monday that he expects the investigation of allegations of physical abuse against Rep. Keith Ellison to be completed and released soon, well ahead of the November election.

A former long-term girlfriend accused Ellison of physical abuse last month, just days ahead of his victory in the crowded Democratic primary for Minnesota attorney general. Karen Monahan said Ellison once dragged her off a bed by her feet while screaming obscenities. She claims to have video footage of the 2016 incident but has refused to release it, saying it's embarrassing.

The longtime Minnesota congressman and Democratic National Committee deputy chairman has called the allegations false and tried to ride out the storm of questions after winning the Aug. 14 primary. But the old sexual assault allegations that have thrown Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination in doubt have renewed focus on Ellison and a six-week old investigation into his conduct that has shown few outward signs of progress.

Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin said he believes the investigation has concluded and that a final report should be issued in the coming days.

"I'm starting to get a little frustrated because it's been a long time now, almost two months," he said. "I hope soon. I hope any day here."

While the state party's attorney initially investigated the allegations against Ellison, Martin decided after the August primary to hire an external investigator to ensure "that it wouldn't be colored by people with associations with the party." They hired Susan Ellingstad, a partner at a Minneapolis law firm with state party attorney Charlie Nauen.

Ellingstad did not immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment on the status of the investigation.

The Democratic National Committee also is waiting on the state party. Chairman Tom Perez directed Martin to lead the review of Ellison's conduct rather than have the national party conduct a separate investigation.

Democrats in Minnesota are concerned that the allegations against Ellison could impact their chances in November to hold onto an attorney general's office they've held for more than four decades. Public polling shows Ellison in a close race with Republican Doug Wardlow, a little-known former state lawmaker who has turned the allegations into a campaign issue.

A recent poll performed for the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio News showed Ellison with just 41 percent of voters' support— a 5 percentage point edge over Wardlow — while more than 18 percent of respondents were undecided. The poll surveyed 800 likely voters between Sept. 10 and 12 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Their race has been marked by a slow drip of developments in those allegations. Monahan recently published on Twitter alleged medical records from late 2017, in which she relayed to a doctor emotional and physical abuse from a former partner she identified as Ellison and that she "worried about retribution if she identifies him publicly." The doctor's progress report notes Monahan did not previously have physical injuries that required an examination.

Ellison said in a recent debate with Wardlow that those medical records were from more than a year after he left their relationship and suggested Monahan was "putting together those allegations" after the fact. An earlier medical record that Monahan also published on Twitter mentions a past "emotionally abusive relationship" but does not mention Ellison or any physical abuse.

Monahan did not respond to a message seeking comment on status of the investigation and whether she had been interviewed. Ellison's campaign spokesman, Sam Fettig, said the congressman is cooperating fully with the investigation.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 93012

Reported Deaths: 2040
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin26447926
Ramsey10697319
Dakota7354125
Anoka5935132
Stearns390924
Washington368955
Scott250033
Olmsted236728
Nobles195416
Blue Earth16476
Wright15737
St. Louis148039
Carver13897
Clay134040
Rice13228
Mower13125
Sherburne112514
Kandiyohi9722
Winona86318
Lyon6674
Waseca6128
Steele5332
Freeborn5323
Benton5303
Nicollet52116
Watonwan5164
Todd4872
Crow Wing48118
McLeod4752
Chisago4711
Le Sueur4524
Otter Tail4224
Beltrami4055
Martin37210
Goodhue3519
Pine3090
Itasca30314
Polk2984
Douglas2862
Isanti2790
Becker2642
Carlton2561
Cottonwood2240
Morrison2221
Dodge2180
Pipestone21710
Chippewa2061
Meeker1942
Sibley1863
Wabasha1830
Brown1822
Yellow Medicine1752
Rock1640
Cass1593
Murray1582
Mille Lacs1543
Redwood1541
Unassigned15052
Renville1427
Jackson1411
Faribault1360
Swift1271
Houston1210
Koochiching1213
Kanabec1178
Roseau1170
Pennington1161
Fillmore1110
Lincoln1080
Hubbard941
Stevens941
Pope920
Big Stone760
Aitkin751
Wadena670
Wilkin613
Grant594
Lake580
Norman530
Lac qui Parle501
Marshall501
Mahnomen461
Red Lake421
Traverse290
Clearwater270
Lake of the Woods211
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 83644

Reported Deaths: 1294
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15697261
Woodbury526363
Johnson508627
Black Hawk443688
Linn3941110
Story340517
Dubuque310141
Scott292628
Dallas275138
Pottawattamie206838
Buena Vista197212
Marshall177034
Sioux15043
Wapello131457
Webster121614
Plymouth110420
Clinton109920
Muscatine109154
Crawford10655
Cerro Gordo101821
Warren9486
Jasper81732
Des Moines7647
Marion7536
Tama70431
Henry6854
Carroll6535
Lee6207
Wright5721
Dickinson5086
Boone5008
Bremer4837
Washington45311
Louisa42815
Mahaska39119
Delaware3833
Franklin34618
Floyd3363
Jackson3303
Winneshiek3246
Hamilton3223
Clay3164
Lyon3074
Benton3061
Hardin2951
Winnebago28913
Poweshiek2788
Butler2672
Buchanan2651
Clarke2643
Jones2643
Emmet26010
Shelby2581
Allamakee2566
Kossuth2540
Chickasaw2470
Clayton2443
Sac2440
Guthrie2416
Cedar2381
Cherokee2352
Grundy2193
Madison2122
Fayette2112
Harrison2073
Iowa1981
Mitchell1880
Howard1866
Humboldt1843
Palo Alto1830
Calhoun1793
Hancock1772
Mills1771
Cass1602
Monroe15710
Pocahontas1562
Lucas1536
Page1530
Osceola1510
Monona1451
Jefferson1371
Appanoose1333
Union1283
Taylor1271
Davis1244
Ida1151
Van Buren1131
Fremont1100
Keokuk1051
Worth1040
Greene990
Montgomery905
Wayne852
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