Embattled U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison admitted calling ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan a “b----” during a heated argument about finances – but a lawyer hired to write a report about domestic abuse allegations against the Minnesota Democrat says that hardly proves the congressman is guilty.
"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," lawyer Susan Ellingstad says in the report. "She has thus repeatedly placed the existence of [a] video front and center to her allegations, but then has refused to disclose it.”
She adds: "Mr. Ellison recalled only one time in 2013 where he called Ms. Monahan a ‘b----,’ following an argument over purchasing something that he thought was too expensive.”
"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."
Ellingstad is a partner in a law firm that donated more than $500,000 to Democrats since 1998, with nearly $50,000 to Ellison's campaigns since 2004.
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Police Department said Wednesday that it won’t investigate Monahan’s claims against Ellison, citing a “conflict of interest” because Ellison’s son serves on the city council.
Monahan alleges that Ellison used the derogatory phrase multiple times. She claims in one particular incident that he dragged her from a bed and shouted "F--- you, b---" and "I hate you." The probe found the accuser's story not credible over her refusal to provide a video of the alleged incident.
Monahan declined to reveal the footage, saying "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."
In recent weeks, Monahan has published a 2017 medical document that identifies Ellison as the person who caused “emotional and physical abuse.” The report of the investigation acknowledged the document.
The report also noted that Monahan talked about the allegations with her therapist in June 2018. But after reviewing therapist's notes, the lawyer deemed Monahan's story "inconsistent" as she said Ellison "dragged" her off the bed rather than "tried to pull her off the bed."
The investigation conducted by the lawyer effectively cleared Ellison of misconduct and found him "credible" in his defense. “He presented as sincere in his shock, hurt, and disbelief that Ms. Monahan would make these allegations against him,” Ellingstad wrote in the draft report first published by the Associated Press.
Ellison said that Monahan fabricated the domestic violence allegations because she is jealous of the congressman’s current girlfriend. The lawyer also wrote that Monahan's "belief" that Ellison was cheating on her could have contributed to her accusing him of abuse.
This comes just weeks after the Ellison accuser slammed the Democrats for not believing her story and accused them of smearing her.
“No, they don't,” Monahan tweeted in response to a question whether the party believes women’s stories. “I've been smeared, threatened, isolated from my own party. I provided medical records from 2017, stating on two different Dr. Visits, I told them about the abuse and who did it. My therapist released records stating I have been dealing and healing from the abuse.”
Despite the investigation’s conclusion, the state party's chairman Ken Martin said he will turn over Ellingstad’s report to local law enforcement “in order to let them review the contents and determine whether further investigation is warranted.”
But the Minneapolis Police Department said on Wednesday it won't pursue the investigation.
"Due to a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest, the Minneapolis Police Department will not be handling the matter involving Congressman Keith Ellison," the department said in a statement, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.