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GOP PAC Wields Keith Ellison Abuse Allegations Against Minnesota Democrats in New Attack Ads

Rep. Keith Ellison at a Democratic National Committee forum in Baltimore, Md., February 11, 2017. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

A series of attack ads released by the Congressional Leadership Fund Monday employ recent allegations of domestic violence against Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) to impune the credibility of four of his fellow Minnesota Democrats.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to preserving the Republican Senate majority, produced ads deriding Democratic congressional candidates running in Minnesota’s first, second, third and eighth districts for supporting Ellison, rather than joining in calls for his withdrawal from the ongoing Minnesota attorney general race.

“Disturbing allegation of domestic violence against Keith Ellison,” exclaims a narrator in the ad running in the second district.

“Now the National Organization for Women is calling for him to end his campaign but Angie Craig is standing by Keith Ellison. Backing Ellison instead of believing his victim? Angie Craig should be ashamed,” the narrator concludes following a clip of Ellison’s former girlfriend describing his alleged abuse.

The allegations were made public last week by the alleged victim’s son, who described his mother’s ordeal in a Saturday Facebook post.

“My brother and I watched our mom come out of pure hell after getting out of her relationship with Keith Ellison,” Austin Aslim Monahan wrote. “We watched her so called political friends stand by say or do nothing.”

Ellison, who serves as Democratic National Committee deputy chairman, unequivocally denied the allegations.

“Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being,” he said Sunday in a statement from his campaign spokesman. “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”

The alleged victim, Karen Monahan, has confirmed her son’s account of the abuse and claims she captured Ellison’s behavior on unreleased video recordings.

A number of Democratic political advocacy groups, including MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, the Service Employees International Union and Our Revolution, have stood by their endorsements of Ellison.

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