Abuse allegation against Keith Ellison 'unsubstantiated,' DFL-commissioned probe finds

The DFL hired an attorney to look into the allegations against the AG candidate.
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An investigation into the allegation of domestic abuse against Keith Ellison has found the complaint to be unsubstantiated.

The DFL Party hired an attorney to probe the claim of domestic abuse made against the 5th District congressman, who is standing for Minnesota Attorney General this November, by his ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan.

The report was leaked on Monday, with the findings confirmed by DFL chairman Ken Martin, who said it will now be forwarded to police to see if any further action is required.

"The investigation report, which was released today without our knowledge by someone outside of our organization, was unable to substantiate the claim of physical abuse made by Ms. Monahan," Martin said.

"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."

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report, and revealed the Minneapolis attorney who produced it, Susan Ellingstad, found inconsistencies in Monahan's claims about the existence of a video that allegedly shows Ellison pulling her off a bed by her feet and swearing at her.

Monahan was not willing to show the video privately to Ellingstad, AP notes, and also gave "shifting rationale" about why she had not released the alleged video.

Unsurprisingly, Minnesota's Republicans are not happy with the findings, with Ellison's AG opponent Doug Wardlow calling it a "sham investigation."

There has been criticism of the investigation because Ellingsford is a partner at the law firm of Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. along with Charlie Nauen, who the Star Tribune describes as the DFL's top attorney.

Senate candidate Karin Housley on Monday called on the Minnesota Attorney General's office to investigate, saying it could provide "an impartial investigation into the serious allegations."

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She claimed the allegations against Ellison are "substantiated," and "raise significant doubts about Keith Ellison’s fitness to serve as Minnesota’s chief legal officer."

Ellison has also asked the U.S. House to conduct an ethics investigation into the allegations against him.

Ken Martin added: "We believe asking for the the initial investigation was the right thing to do, and we still do.

"We also believe that a final review by law enforcement authorities who routinely make decisions about allegations such as these, will offer the greatest assurance that the claims were looked into in a fair, impartial and thorough manner."

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