Facing continued pressure as he goes about his Attorney General campaign, Rep. Keith Ellison is asking his fellow U.S. House members to get to the bottom of the domestic abuse allegation made against him.
On Wednesday, Ellison asked the House to launch an ethics investigation into the allegation of abuse made by his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan.
"Today I am announcing that I will submit a request for a House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations against me raised by a former partner," Ellison said in a statement. "I am taking this step now because I am innocent and eager to see this entire matter resolved.
"In addition to any House Ethics investigation, an independent investigation has been conducted by an independent attorney. I have complied fully with that investigation, the results of which should be made public soon.
“These allegations have lingered in the public sphere, and remain unsubstantiated. I welcome an investigation by the House to allow us to move on."
The independent attorney he refers to is the one hired by the Minnesota DFL party, which is conducting its own investigation into the allegations. The DFL told Bring Me The News last week that this probe should be wrapping up in the near future.
The move by Ellison draws a parallel with the step taken by former Minnesota senator Al Franken, who after allegations of inappropriate behavior came out late last year, asked the U.S. Senate to carry out an ethics investigation.
Under pressure from his fellow Democrats, however, Franken resigned before such an investigation could get underway.
Ellison is not under the same pressure from his fellow Democrats in the House as Franken was in the Senate, possibly because he is stepping down from his 5th District seat as he runs for Attorney General.
Speaking to Buzzfeed News on Wednesday, Rep. Jackie Speier (D–California) said it's for this reason that an ethics investigation into Ellison's conduct might not be that effective.
"It probably should be [investigated], but you know, they won’t get it started and then he will be gone," she said. "You know, it’s going to be a gesture more than anything else. We’ve got to do something with the Ethics Committee generally because when members leave, you know, the investigation falls off."