Minnesota Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison has been accused of emotionally and physically abusing his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan.

Over the weekend, Austin Monahan, Karen Monahan’s son, wrote on Facebook that he found a video on his mom’s computer of Ellison dragging his mom off of a bed while yelling profanities.

Karen Monahan spoke to CNN saying she recorded the event on her cell phone and later saved it to her computer. She explained the video was somewhere on a flash drive with her personal belongings in storage and that even if she could put her hand on in it immediately, she wouldn’t share the video publicly because it’s “embarrassing.”

According to CNN, friends of Monahan, who agreed to speak to the network anonymously, said Monahan told them about the alleged event shortly after she claims it happened.

From CNN:

CNN first spoke with Karen Monahan on Friday and Saturday about social media posts she’d made, some obliquely referencing Ellison. CNN was in the process of reporting the story when her son went public Saturday afternoon. CNN has asked to view the video, but Monahan said she could not produce it.

…In conversations with CNN on Friday and Saturday, Monahan, an organizer with the environmental group the Sierra Club, said Ellison was emotionally abusive and on one occasion physically abusive near the end of their relationship in late 2016, prompting her to move out of Ellison’s apartment. She said that alleged physical altercation was the incident her son referred to involving Ellison allegedly pulling her off the bed and cursing at her. Monahan said she discreetly recorded the video on her cell phone and then uploaded it onto her computer.

Monahan said Saturday that she did not know where the video was because she misplaced it when moving. Monahan also said she would not want the video made public in any case, calling it “embarrassing.”

Asked again on Monday about the video, Monahan said she put it on a flash drive and packed it up in her previous home and couldn’t immediately find it because it was in storage.

“It’s not on me to show embarrassing and traumatizing video that impacts both families,” Monahan told CNN on Monday.
Three friends of Monahan, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of backlash, told CNN she had confided in them about the bed incident in the months after she had moved out of Ellison’s apartment.

Ellison has denied the accusations:

Ellison denied the claims on Sunday and said no video of the incident existed because it did not happen.
“Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being,” Ellison said in a statement. “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”

…When asked for further comment, Ellison’s campaign referred back to the original statement.

A representative for the Democratic National Committee did not return a request for comment. Ellison serves as deputy chair of the committee.

Monahan said coming forward had nothing to do with hurting Ellison in the primary election.
“People can vote for whoever they feel is the best candidate based on their values. This has nothing to do with that,” she said. “Me sharing my story has nothing to do with the primary election. It is never a good time for a survivor to share their story. If I waited a week later, it would become an issue between a Democrat and Republican.”

Monahan also shared text messages and direct messages with CNN that she claims were exchanged between she and Ellison:

Monahan provided one text of her mentioning the physical altercation to Ellison in December 2017.
“Keith, We never discussed — the video I have of you trying to drag me off the bed, yelling get the f*** out now, calling me a bitch and saying I hate you bitch,” the text message read. In follow up texts viewed by CNN, Ellison did not directly address the physical altercation.

Other messages viewed by CNN do not specifically show incidents of verbal abuse.

In one, she tells Ellison that she plans to mention him in her book and he says she does not have his permission to do so. Other text messages showed Ellison and Monahan discussing removing her things from the apartment they shared after Monahan moved out. The conversations are at times cordial.

Rep. Ellison is not seeking re-election but is instead running for state attorney general in order to challenge Trump’s policies directly, should he win.

For our previous coverage on Ellison, his connections to radical Nation of Islam Leader, Louis Farrakhan, and his failed bid to run the DNC, see here.