- Ellison told an attorney hired by Democrats that he called ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan a “bitch,” though Monahan said it happened multiple times.
- The investigation found Monahan’s accusation of physical abuse “unsubstantiated,” but did not draw conclusions on alleged emotional abuse.
- Ellison said he believed Monahan’s accusation of physical abuse was motivated in part by her jealousy of his current girlfriend.
Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison called his ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan a “bitch” over a fight about money, he admitted to an attorney his own party hired to investigate domestic abuse allegations against him.
“Mr. Ellison recalled only one time in 2013 where he called Ms. Monahan a ‘bitch’ following an argument over purchasing something that he thought was too expensive,” Minnesota attorney Susan Ellingstad wrote in a draft report.
While Ellison told Ellingstad that he only called Monahan a “bitch” the one time, Monahan said the congressman called her the derogatory term on multiple occasions.
One of those times, Monahan claimed, was while Ellison was dragging her from a bed and yelling expletives at her. Ellingstad’s investigation focused on that single specific incident, which it concluded was unsubstantiated.
Ellison has served in Congress since 2007 and is the Democratic nominee for Minnesota attorney general, in addition to serving as the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
The AP’s story did not include the fact that the congressman admitted to calling Monahan a “bitch,” though the newswire did post a link to the full report.
Ellison’s admission of using the derogatory term has not been previously reported.
Ellison also said he believed Monahan’s accusation of physical abuse was motivated in part by her jealousy of his current girlfriend.
Ellison thought Monahan’s “belief” that he was romantically involved with other women while the two were dating was a motivating factor in her report as well, according to Ellingstad.
Ellison denied that he was still dating Monahan when he became romantically involved with the other women, the attorney noted.
Ellingstad found Ellison “credible” in his denial of the alleged physical assault and observed that he “truly seemed not to recall the incident ever happening,” the draft report said.
“He presented as sincere in his shock, hurt, and disbelief that Ms. Monahan would make these allegations against him,” Ellingstad wrote.
Ellison’s ex-wife, Kim Ellison, said the congressman never abused her in any way “before, during, or after” their 25 years of marriage, Ellingstad wrote.
Monahan’s credibility was undermined by her claims about an alleged video tape showing Ellison’s abuse, the attorney concluded.
“An allegation standing alone is not necessarily sufficient to conclude that conduct occurred, particularly where the accusing party declines to produce supporting evidence that she herself asserts exists,” Ellingstad wrote. (RELATED: Monahan Posts Doctor’s Note Naming Ellison As Alleged Abuser)
“She has thus repeatedly placed the existence of the video front and center to her allegations, but then has refused to disclose it,” added Ellingstad.
Monahan responded on Twitter on Monday, writing: “You are not entitled to my pain and trauma. You are not entitled to see me getting dragged, when my body is being exposed in more ways than one.”
“This is my trauma, I dealt with the abuse. I have already shared more than I was originally comfortable with,” Monahan added, including the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport.
Ellingstad’s investigation did not draw conclusions on whether Ellison was emotionally abusive.
“This is not in any way intended to diminish the seriousness of emotional abuse or to suggest it is less important than physical abuse; however, those aspects of Ms. Monahan’s allegations are outside of the scope of this assignment,” the attorney wrote.
The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) hired Ellingstad — who is partners with the DFL’s attorney, Charlie Nauen — to take over the investigation, which Democrats described as independent.
Ellison’s Republican opponent, Doug Wardlow, previously said it was “laughable” to describe the investigation as “independent.”
The Ellison campaign did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
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