Karin Housley, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, has officially requested an investigation into the allegations of domestic abuse against Rep. Keith Ellison.
Ellison, a Democrat running for attorney general in Minnesota, has been accused by his former girlfriend of physical and emotional abuse throughout the time they dated. Karen Monahan alleged Ellison once dragged her off a bed while shouting profanities and sent multiple abusive text messages.
Ellison has vehemently denied the accusations and asked the House Ethics Committee to launch a probe into the allegations. Minnesota’s Democratic Party has also commissioned an investigation.
But Housley, the GOP nominee who is facing incumbent Sen. Tina Smith in November, has called for an “immediate investigation” by the Minnesota Office of the Attorney General.
“Recent calls for a congressional ethics investigation, made by Keith Ellison and echoed by my opponent, amount to nothing more than political cover; Ellison will have left Congress by the time an investigation could be completed,” Housley said in a statement. “These are serious, recent and substantiated allegations that deserve immediate attention and raise significant doubts about Keith Ellison’s fitness to serve as Minnesota’s chief legal officer.”
Housley pointed to the current FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh who was accused by a few women of sexual misconduct just before the Senate Judiciary Committee was slated to vote on his confirmation.
Kavanaugh has continuously denied the allegations against him.
“Tina Smith said Judge Brett Kavanaugh ‘committed sexual assault’ and called for a ‘quick and thorough investigation’ into the allegations made against him, despite the judge’s repeated, emphatic denials. But curiously, Tina Smith has chosen to believe Keith Ellison’s ‘categorical’ denials, affirming her support for him and openly campaigning with him,” Housley said.
Smith was appointed to the U.S. Senate in January to replace Al Franken, who resigned amid multiple sexual harassment allegations. Fox News has ranked both Senate races in Minnesota as likely Democrat.
Democrats in Minnesota have expressed concern the allegations against Ellison could impact their chances in November to take an attorney general’s office they’ve held for more than four decades. Public polling shows Ellison in a close race with Republican Doug Wardlow, a little-known former state lawmaker who has turned the allegations into a campaign issue.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement it is appropriate for the ethics committee to take up the matter so “all involved are given the opportunity to be heard.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.