A group of self-proclaimed “longtime progressives and DFLers” penned a letter Friday endorsing Rep. Keith Ellison for attorney general of Minnesota “without reservation” despite the allegations against him.
The letter is signed by eighteen Democrats–most notably Former Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, state Sen. Patricia Torres Ray (D-Minneapolis), and state Rep. Rena Moran (D-St. Paul).
The letter exonerates Ellison, citing the DFL investigation, which has been tainted with questions of impartiality, as proof of his innocence. The authors dismissed the allegations against Ellison as a “difficult breakup” and not abuse.
“In this investigation. . . it is clear that Keith is trying to navigate a difficult breakup, maintain a good relationship with his former partner, be an effective member of Congress, and move on with his life — as all of us have tried to do as relationships have ended in our lives,” the letter reads. “A difficult breakup is not abuse.”
The authors also went after Karen Monahan, the woman accusing Ellison of domestic violence, over what they consider “serious concerns” about her claims. Multiple factors “strongly suggest” Monahan’s claims are politically and personally motivated, the letter states.
The authors also allege Monahan is willing “to be used by and possibly collaborate with right-wing, sometimes Islamophobic media.”
“The timing of Ms. Monahan’s allegations, her retaining a Republican attorney who is a former supervisor and active supporter of Keith’s opponent, and her apparent willingness to be used by and possibly collaborate with right-wing, sometimes Islamophobic media, strongly suggest that these allegations have become politically as well as personally motivated.”
Monahan responded to the letter, saying it is “heartbreaking to see the dishonesty and one-sided remarks.”
“These are the smears, dishonesty and bullying women deal with when breaking their silence,” Monahan wrote in a Facebook post.
Monahan flooded the comments of the Facebook post with more screenshots of private messages allegedly from Ellison in addition to the medical reports she previously released. Monahan, a progressive activist, said Democrats are trying to erase her voice from the party.
“They are trying to erase my voice, my experience, the social justice I have worked on since I was 21, the years of service to my community, from the [#MeToo] movement, from the party,” Monahan wrote in the comments. “They are trying to make me invisible but I’m not.”
Despite the evidence produced by Monahan, the authors of the letter say “without hesitation or reservation” that Ellison did not abuse Monahan.
“As a result, we can say without hesitation or reservation that we believe Keith committed no abuse toward Ms. Monahan,” the letter reads. “As a result, and that we support Keith fully and wholeheartedly in his campaign for attorney general.”
Read the full letter here.