December 16th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
6 years ago

U.S. senator hires defense attorney

CNN has learned that Sen. Norm Coleman has hired a defense attorney to represent him in two lawsuits against one of Coleman's supporters.
CNN has learned that Sen. Norm Coleman has hired a defense attorney to represent him in two lawsuits against one of Coleman's supporters.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Sen. Norm Coleman has hired top Minneapolis-based defense attorney Douglas Kelley to assist with two lawsuits connected to the senator, a representative with Kelley’s office confirmed to CNN.

Coleman, a Minnesota Republican, is fighting to win a second term to the Senate and is currently in the middle of a recount with Democratic challenger Al Franken.

The pair of similar lawsuits accuse wealthy businessman and Coleman supporter Nasser Kazeminy of funneling approximately $75,000 to the senator through his wife Laurie Coleman.

Coleman spokesman Luke Friedrich said he considers these to be "baseless allegations that are nothing more than political and financial extortion."

Friedrich added that Sen. Coleman has retained counsel "to work cooperatively with authorities when such an investigation is conducted, and to quickly expose these allegations for what they are, and to hold those who made these false allegations against the Senator accountable."

"To this date the Senator, nor his legal counsel, have been informed that any such investigation is underway," he said in the statement.

Kazeminy will be represented by fellow well-known Minneapolis-based attorney Joe Friedberg, a representative of his office confirmed to CNN.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune also reports that Mrs. Coleman has also hired her own defense lawyer.

This comes on a day when Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s canvassing board begins what could be a long process of reviewing challenged ballots from the hand recount that was recently completed.

At the finish of the recount, Coleman held a slight lead of almost 200 votes over Franken, but the challenges will amount to more than 1500 ballots –- all of which the five member board will sift through in an effort to determine “voter intent.”

The Minnesota race is the final outstanding Senate contest of the 2008 elections.


Filed under: Norm Coleman • Popular Posts
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. BUSH BEGONE!

    While I think Blago needs to step down, I think Fitzgerald screwed this up. The tapes only show Blago talking about it not actually doing anything illegal. It is not illegal to discuss something illegal. I hope the tapes do hold some illegal acts.

    Also, Fitzgerald should not have been yammerin' "about a crime spree". One only has to look to Alaska where the repubs tried to get the allegations against what's her name thrown out because of partisan politics. The same case could be argued here. Not a smart move, just more ammo for his defense lawyer to say the government was gunning for Blago

    December 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Naqib

    Al... for god sake... show some self respect and let it go.

    December 16, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. obama-mama

    I hope big teeth Coleman didn't get himself hemmed up in nonsense...Has everybody gone mad?

    December 16, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. LYNETTE IN CA

    The fact that his wife hired a separate attorney makes it even more suspect!!!

    December 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Chuck

    The politicians in this country have some kind of sickness whether it be physical, although I'll bet more mental. Lying and cheating and bribery and deceit. What a wonderful lesson we are giving to the children and young adults of this country. No wonder things are so bad and nobody respects anyone else. America is at an all time low morally and ethically. And by the way "religion" has meant nothing to keep these people from their immoral and unethical acts. That is unless they get caught. Then the prayin and the forgivin is just too laughable.

    December 16, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. God Help Us

    I wonder why this isn't getting the same amount of attention as Blago. Don't treat Coleman like a media darling.

    December 16, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Obama Victim

    The Messiah is going to need one pretty soon

    December 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Maybe it is better for Coleman to withdraw and conceed to Franken given what is going with this. Who knows if these charges are correct. IF they are, the Senate could be on their way to expelling him.

    December 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. BB

    Poor thing.

    December 16, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Denver Dem

    Go get him. Here is a cheat and a liar. I hope they do find he extorted money through his wife and it costs him his election bid. good riddance Franken you get him.

    December 16, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. LOUIE MORFE

    OUR PRESIDENT CAN NOT BE INSULTED OR ANY WORLD LEADER, ANYWHERE, BUT OUR SECRET SERVICE HAS THAT JOB TO PROTECTOUR PRESIDENT REGARDLESS OF ITS COST LIFE OR PROPERTY, IF THE SECRET SERVICE DETAIL CAN NOT TAKE A FLYING SHOE FOR THE PRESIDENT , HOW CAN THEY TAKE A BULLET.THE AGENT THAT TOOK THE BULLET FOR PRESIDENT REAG
    AN IS A GOOD AGENT, HE DID HIS JOB, HE KEPT THE TRUST!
    LOUIE MORFE

    December 16, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Liberal and Proud of It

    American Conservatism has no place in the modern world and no place in America. For 150 years, since they fought against the abolition of slavery, American Conservative leaders have opposed the 8 hour day, the 40 hour week, the minimum wage, EVERY proposed increase in the minimum wage, medicare, medicaid, social security, equal rights for minorities and women, equal pay for minorities and women, child health care programs (!!!!!!!!), etc. Most recently, Conservative Senators blocked the auto industry bailout because American auto workers were making too much money!!!!!!

    Of course, the majority of Minn voters should have their way, and if Coleman won, then he should be sworn in for another term. However, you can be sure that he will help his fellow Conservatives prevent the nation from solving its problems.

    December 16, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Minnesotan

    Nothing says "GUILT" like hiring a high powered attorney. Coleman's been a snake during his entire tenure as a Senator for our state. The only ones who like him are the conservative old duds who get their information spoon fed from FOX Noise. Coleman's gotta go. Period

    December 16, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    Acorn and Franken doing their best to steal the election. Al Franken= soreloserrman

    December 16, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Texas Teacher

    I just hope that Al Franken wins in the final analysis. He will continue in the steps of Obama to bring fair and balanced government to Minnesota and the country from his senate post. :)

    Does no one recognize swift boat politics in this election fraud? Election fixin' to be sure! Same ole same ole! When will the Repubs face up to the fact that We, the People, are sick to death of their Good Ole Boy politics on ALL levels!

    December 16, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Red, Red WHINE!!

    Hey...if he's innocent...why does he have to hire lawyers.

    Why would any sane person pay that much money when all they have to do is say "Nah, I didn't do it...it's false"?

    He's a republican...we KNOW he's guilty of something!

    December 16, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Rae

    What's that I hear? No screaming for him to step down?

    December 16, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. Andrew from Illinois

    Looks like Coleman's going to face the music pretty soon. I'll bet he's going to be blacklisted from Minnesota politics now that he'sgoing to soon lose to both a pro-wrestler and a comedian.

    December 16, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. case

    Waiting for the customary link to Obama... ohh, wait he is a republican darn....

    December 16, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. Sherrol in Canada

    Gees, another bleeping crook.

    December 16, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. Matt

    hahahahahaha, he's going to lose AND go to jail

    December 16, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. TyWebb

    N O R M !!!!!!!!!!

    December 16, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. scott

    I am sorry - but even a 200 vote difference out of 3 million cast simply cannot represent normal sampling, even if the voter pool were exactly split.

    Surely there is a good statistician out there who can evaluate precinct data for statisticaal anomalies. Someone, I suspect, has been fooling around with the vote. What is the old saying - get us within five percent and we'll steal the rest?

    Someone - do the math!!!

    December 16, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. No incumbents 2010

    scott : Does that count the other way too? The way you make it sound is that Democrats don't steal elections or do anything dirty like sell Senate seats or register dead people to vote.

    December 16, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. karen-phoenix

    Get rid of Coleman!!! Count the votes Minnesota!!

    December 16, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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