More on the "unsubstantiated" domestic abuse claim against Keith Ellison

I suppose we can just put this whole Keith Ellison domestic abuse allegation brouhaha behind us now, eh? As you’ve probably already heard, the Minnesota DFL investigation into allegations made by Ellison’s ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, has already been concluded, finding that the claims are “unsubstantiated.” This is pretty much in line with my own prediction of how it would end when we learned that the attorney assigned to conduct the investigation was the law partner of the DFL lawyer who had been handling it initially. (That lawyer stepped aside to avoid any appearance of impropriety over investigating one of the leaders of their own party. Insert your own joke here.) Still, they’re putting a brave face on it. (Associated Press)

An ex-girlfriend’s allegation that Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison once physically abused her could not be substantiated because she refused to provide video she said she had of the incident, an attorney hired to investigate the claims concluded in a draft report obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

The report was compiled by Susan Ellingstad, a lawyer hired by Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party to investigate the allegation against the Democratic congressman. Ellison, also deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has denied the allegations…

A draft report obtained by the AP notes Monahan’s shifting rationale for refusing to produce the video footage, including that it was lost, on a USB drive in storage or that it would be too embarrassing and traumatic to release. Ellingstad also wrote in her report that Monahan would not allow her to view the footage privately.

When John Sexton wrote about this story here last night he brought up several good points which really do undermine Monahan’s case. The video which Monahan has repeatedly claimed to have is, at this point, arguably working against her and dooming her claim. If there had been no suggestion of video evidence the case would have been yet another he said, she said quagmire and character witnesses might have been called to support both sides. While I doubt the Democrats would be calling for Ellison’s scalp, it would at least remain a cloud over his future as Attorney General of his state.

But Monahan has changed her story several times, variously claiming that the video was lost, stuck on a thumb drive in storage or simply “too embarrassing” to show in public. Her failure to produce the goods she claimed to have called her entire story into question.

But that doesn’t mean that the DFL strolls away from all this with clean hands either. National Democrats have been digging themselves a tank trap over Brett Kavanaugh and Ellison’s defenders are about to drive straight into it. Take a look at the conclusion reached from the DFL investigator. She wrote, “An allegation standing alone is not necessarily sufficient to conclude that conduct occurred, particularly where the accusing party declines to produce supporting evidence that she herself asserts exists.”

Oh, really? Christine Blasey Ford never claimed to have a tape, but she said there were other people at the party who might back up her claim that the gathering at least took place. She also pushed forward records of having told other people about her own experience as far back as 2012. But none of the supposed witnesses remember anything about it and the people she told have zero knowledge of those events beyond the fact that she said it to them.

In the end, all Blasey Ford has is “an allegation standing alone” with no “supporting evidence” being produced. So if you’re going to doubt Brett Kavanaugh’s protestations of innocence but accept Keith Ellison’s denials, don’t be shocked if we fail to take your conclusions very seriously.