It’s unclear exactly what will happen with the domestic violence allegation against Democratic U.S. Rep Keith Ellison, as Minnesota politics appears to have turned the case into a hot potato as the midterm elections draw closer.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a letter on Tuesday to Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal that his office declines to review a report on Ellison’s case sent from her office unless it includes findings from a law enforcement agency, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
Minnesota’s Democratic Party hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation, which many Republican dismissed as biased. Segal, seeking to avoid a political conflict of interest, forwarded the report to Backstrom—a Republican.
But Backstrom wants nothing to do with the report until a law enforcement agency conducts a criminal investigation.
“If such an investigation occurs and is submitted to you (Segal) for review to determine whether or not criminal charges should be filed, I will agree to review the matter on a conflict of interest basis for you,” Backstrom stated in the letter.
The allegation of domestic violence first surfaced in August, just days before Minnesota’s primary election. The congressman’s former girlfriend, Karen Monahan, alleges that Ellison tried to drag her off a bed during a fight in 2016. Ellison, who’s now running for state attorney general, immediately denied the charge.
The initial accusation appeared in a Facebook post by Monahan’s son. He claimed that there’s video evidence of the assault. However, Monahan has declined to release the footage, raising questions about its existence.
Ellison’s attorney stated that Monahan has never made a police report.
Things appear to be at a standstill unless law enforcement gets involved. A Minneapolis police spokesperson declined a request from the Star-Tribune to comment on the case.