Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) said on Friday the woman who accused him of domestic violence fabricated the story and he couldn't be sure that others won't "cook up" similar allegations against him.
Ellison’s ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan accused Ellison of hurling insults at her and dragging her out of bed. She claimed the incident occurred in 2016 after Ellison told her to take out the trash. Ellison, who also serves as the Democratic National Committee deputy chairman, denied the accusations as "not true" and said the independent investigation into them will prove Monahan's claims are false.
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The moderator at the PBS Almanac debate asked Ellison, who is running for Minnesota attorney general, if he was confident that no one else would step forward with any other allegations.
"Look, in this political environment, I don’t know what somebody might cook up," Ellison replied. "But I could tell you that there is absolutely nobody that I am aware of who has any sort of—who is threatening or suggesting or who has ever made a prior accusation about me."
On Wednesday, Monahan posted online a medical document from 2017 in which her doctor wrote of Monahan telling of past physical abuse at Ellison's hands. Monahan also claims to have video evidence of Ellison's abuse, though she has said it is traumatic and she will not share it.
One moderator brought up another past claim from 2006 when a woman named Amy Alexander accused Ellison of verbally abusing her and pushing her during an argument. Ellison denied that allegation as well and said Alexander was "harassing" him. He filed a restraining order against the woman to have her stop spreading "falsehoods."
"So this is not multiple cases," Ellison said.
"Two credible, strong allegations of domestic abuse is enough," said Doug Wardlow, Ellison's Republican opponent.
A recent poll finds Ellison's race close amid the abuse allegations.