Minnesota U.S. Senate candidate Karin Housley (R) has officially called for the state attorney general's office to launch an investigation into domestic abuse allegations against Attorney General hopeful Rep. Keith Ellison (D).
What are the details?
Ellison serves as deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee and faces accusations of physically and emotionally abusing former girlfriend Karen Monahan in 2016. The allegations were brought by Monahan's son, who claimed in August to have found a video of Ellison abusing his mother; Monahan says the allegations are true.
Ellison announced last week that he would request the House Ethics Committee look into the accusations he faces. He told BuzzFeed, "I am taking this step now because I am innocent and eager to see this entire matter resolved."
Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party is currently awaiting the findings of an independent investigation it launched two months ago.
But Housley, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) in the Nov. 6 election, says those investigations are inadequate.
"Recent calls for a congressional ethics investigation, made by Keith Ellison and echoed by my opponent, amount to nothing more than political cover," she said in a statement. "Ellison will have left Congress by the time an investigation could be completed.
"These are serious, recent and substantiated allegations that deserve immediate attention and raise significant doubts about Keith Ellison's fitness to serve as Minnesota's chief legal officer," Housley added.
Ellison denies the allegations against him, which Housley used against her rival by comparing them to the sexual assault denials maintained by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
"Tina Smith said Judge Brett Kavanaugh 'committed sexual assault' and called for a 'quick and thorough investigation' into the allegations made against him, despite the judge's repeated, emphatical denials. But curiously, Tina Smith has chosen to believe Keith Ellison's 'categorical' denials, affirming her support for him and openly campaigning with him," Housley said.
Several Republicans in recent weeks have accused Democrats of hypocrisy for believing Kavanaugh's accusers but ignoring the claims against Ellison. Kavanaugh is currently undergoing a supplemental FBI investigation regarding allegations that he sexually assaulted accuser Christine Blasey Ford at a party in 1982.