The Democratic National Committee has delegated investigation of the current domestic abuse allegation raised against Keith Ellison by Karen Monahan to the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. Ellison is of course the deputy chairman of the DNC an dthe DFL candidate for attorney general. DFL Chairman Ken Martin retained Minneapolis attorney Susan Ellingstad to conduct the investigation. Susan’s report was made public yesterday. Her report finds the charge against Ellison to be “unsubstantiated.” Reading the report, however, I find that substantial evidence supports the charge. I have posted a copy of the report below.
Susan is a partner in the Lockridge Grindal Nauen law firm. She focuses her practice on the representation of corporate and governmental clients in the defense of employment claims. In that capacity she is occasionally called on to conduct independent workplace investigations of sexual harassment or similar claims. She performed something like that for the DFL in Ellison’s case. I have worked closely with Susan and know from my own professional experience that she is an outstanding attorney.
Kyle Potter covers Susan’s report for the AP and posts a linked copy in his story. Please note that the scope of Susan’s investigation was limited to Monahan’s single allegation of domestic abuse asserted by Monahan to have been committed against her by Ellison in August 2016, although she does summarize the alleged 2006 incident involving Amy Alexander at page 11.
The alleged incident occurred on August 26, 2016 and, by Monahan’s own account, involved no physical injury. Although the names are redacted, Susan interviewed several witnesses in connection with her investigation. On page 7 Susan includes the testimony of several of Monahan’s friends (including friends of Monahan and Ellison) whom Monahan told about the incident during the period October 2016-January 2017. Monahan projected the incident onto a third person in a long October 29, 2017 text message to Ellison (page 9). On June 6, 2018 Monahan treated with a psychologist whose therapy notes reflect Monahan’s description of the incident to him (page 10).
Susan states that she has been asked to confirm whether the incident alleged by Monahan can be “substantiated.” She notes that Monahan described the incident to her in “a high level of specificity and detail, which lends credibility to the allegation” (page 12). She also finds: “The fact that Ms. Monahan spoke to several people about the incident four or five months after it supposedly ocurred — and a year and a half before the public release of the allegations — lends credibility to them” (page 12).
Susan notes that Monahan referred to the incident in two text messages to Ellison in 2017 (ibid.). She also finds that Monahan “reported physical abuse and/or the alleged incident to two doctors” (ibid.).
The report considers factors that weigh in Ellison’s favor at pages 13-15. In the final sentence of her report Susan concludes summarily that the abuse allegation is “unsubstantiated.”
“Unsubstantiated” is a synonym for “uncorroborated.” The report, however, does not clear Ellison. Although her conclusion spares the DFL — her client — immediate difficulty regarding Ellison, Susan’s investigation was not a sham and the report is not a whitewash. By the standards currently deployed against Judge Kavanaugh, the abuse allegation against Ellison is supported by substantial evidence. Indeed, it is supported by more evidence than is Ellison’s denial. Compared to the evidence supporting the claim of Christine Blasey Ford against Judge Kavanaugh — i.e., none — the evidence supporting Monahan’s claim is overwhelming.
Do not settle for media accounts of the report or for the conclusion stated. Take a look yourself and pose a pointed question or two to Minnesota Democrats such as Senate Judiciary Committee member Amy Klobuchar, now running for reelection, and appointed incumbent Senator Tina Smith, now running for election in her own right. In reality the Ellison report should heighten the contradictions for Minnesota Democrats. Not that it will, but it should.
The domestic abuse allegation against Ellison is serious, but it is the least of his disqualifications from the office of Minnesota attorney general. He was an active and long-time member of the Nation of Islam hate cult, he supports cop killers and he habitually lies about all of the above with the continuing cooperation of the Minnesota media. His credibility is less than zero. On these points see my “Can Keith Ellison turn lawman?”
JOHN adds: Scott is right on both counts: 1) The evidence against Ellison dwarfs the (lack of) evidence against Brett Kavanaugh, and 2) domestic violence is the least of Ellison’s disqualifications. For that reason, I am glad that Minnesota’s Freedom Club has sponsored this new ad, which indicts both Ellison and the DFL’s candidate for Governor, Tim Walz, on public safety grounds. The ad was created by our friends at Madison McQueen and is being seen on television across the state of Minnesota: