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Rep. Keith Ellison says he's considering stepping down as the DNC's deputy chair

Deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said in an interview Wednesday that he might step down from his role with the DNC in order to focus on his run for Minnesota attorney general. (Sarah Rice/Getty Images)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) says he's thinking about stepping away from his role as deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, in order to focus on his campaign to become Minnesota's next attorney general.

What are the details?

During an interview Wednesday on WCCO-AM, host Dave Lee asked the congressman, "Keith, will your role as the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee continue?"

"Ya know, I have been thinking about that...," Ellison said, "I've been evaluating that recently so we'll see. I need to put 100 percent of my time, energy and resources into the race [for attorney general] and my office, so it is something I'm considering."

Ellison continued, "And that's something I am taking consideration on. I'll put it like this, though: I will be 110 percent for Minnesota all the time, every time, without fail. And so, that is something that we are beginning to evaluate right now."

Rep. Ellison did not say whether recent abuse allegations against him had anything to do with him considering to step down.

On Monday, attorney Susan Ellingstad — who was hired by Minnesota's Democratic Farmer Labor Party — concluded an investigation into domestic abuse claims made against Ellison by a former girlfriend during the summer. Ellingstad determined that the allegations made against Ellison by his ex, Karen Monahan, were unsubstantiated.

Ellison's opponent, Doug Wardlow (R) called Ellingstad's investigation a "sham."

Monahan claims to have video evidence proving that Ellison physically and emotionally abused her in an instance where he yelled profanities at her and dragged her off a bed, but she has repeatedly refused to release the footage.

She said in a tweet a few weeks ago, "I don't have to show a video that shows me in a vulnerable position. Did they even think what I may or may not have been wearing?" according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

She has, however, said she released medical records to the DFL party in an attempt to corroborate her claims. Monahan has also publicly shared pictures of purported medical records and text exchanges with Ellison, which she says do indeed substantiate the details she has shared.

In response to the findings of the DSL-funded investigation, Monahan tweeted, "The investigation was leaked before my attorney ever saw it. The DFL punted the investigation to the city, the city punted it to the county. The county said they would not investigate unless...corruption has to come to light."

What did the Minneapolis police say?

The Minneapolis Police Department announced on Wednesday that it would not be investigating Ellison "Due to a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest," according to the Pioneer Press. "The Minneapolis Police Department is in communication with other law enforcement agencies who we may refer this case to."

Department spokesman John Elder told the Pioneer Press that the Minneapolis PD was passing on the case out of "an abundance of caution," due to the fact that Ellison's son serves on the Minneapolis City Council.

Attorney General Lori Swanson (D) also said Wednesday that she would not be looking into the allegations against Ellison because her office is prosecutorial, not investigative. Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said he would be willing to take a look at it, but only if he receives a report from law enforcement.

The Pioneer Press reported that it does not appear that Monahan has filed any formal criminal complaints against Ellison. Rep. Ellison has denied the allegations and called for a House Ethics Committee investigation into his own conduct, to clear his name.

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