December 17th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
3 years ago

Senator's lawyer denies corruption allegations

Coleman has hired a defense attorney.
Coleman has hired a defense attorney.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - The attorney hired on behalf of U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman said Tuesday that recent allegations facing the Minnesota Republican are "inherently suspect," adding he'll "put them to rest."

Two lawsuits–one filed in Delaware, the other in Texas–allege Coleman accepted approximately $75,000 from wealthy businessman and supporter Nasser Kazeminy. Plaintiffs in the suit accuse Kazeminy of funneling money to Coleman's wife, Laurie Coleman, in order to get it to the senator because, in Kazeminy's words according to documents, "U.S. senators don't make [expletive deleted]."

In a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, Minneapolis-based attorney Doug Kelley told CNN that he wasn't going to comment on specific facts of the case at this point, but said he was skeptical of the accusations.

"I do believe that these charges will not be proven," Kelley said.

"I think any time allegations such as this are raised a week before a hotly contested election they’re inherently suspect," he continued. The lawsuits were filed in October.

"So the senator has asked me to get to the bottom of these allegations quickly on his behalf and to cooperate with the authorities in order to put this to rest," Kelley said.

Though Kelley said the senator has not been contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, numerous media reports have indicated an investigation is imminent. Spokespersons with the FBI would neither confirm nor deny an investigation.

UPDATE: Sen. Coleman's senate campaign will cover the cost of all the senator's legal fees. In a statement, spokesman Luke Friedrich said, "We intend to have any legal fees related to what we believe to be a politically inspired legal action to be covered by the Senator’s campaign. We will be seeking the necessary approvals at the proper time to ensure that this is done in strict accordance with all appropriate laws and rules.”

The senator's wife, Laurie Coleman, has also hired her own lawyer. However, Friedrich said any legal fees incurred by her will be "personally handled by the senator and Mrs. Coleman."


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soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. obama-mama

    NY republican

    You haven't been called bitter.

    December 17, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. richard

    Looks like Al Franken is a sore loser, just like all democrats. They can't win so they will try to steal it. Can't wait till Obama is impeached.

    December 17, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  3. call me crazy

    Is anyone else getting tired of coruption in government???No wonder why we are where we are.Time to take all the crooks out power,Dem or repub and start over...

    December 17, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. John, Rochester MN

    I find it amusing that so many people talk about Al Franken doing whatever he can to win this election. Franken has nothing to do with these allegations. The guy in Texas is a Republican, and he himself stated that he doesn't care one way or the other about the election, he just wants justice served.
    The real underlying problem in this election, though, is that there are people that run for office that don't get the official nomination they want, then continue to run anyway and take away votes that would have removed the person the people don't want. Yes, Barkley, I'm talking about you. Minnesota didn't want Coleman, but even though you didn't have a snowball's chance in hell, you continued to run and took votes away from Franken. Did you learn nothing from Nader's run in 2000?
    Please, please, please, US Senate, don't seat this guy and let us in MN choose someone we really want in there.

    December 17, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. tina

    To JV

    What in the heck does Rahm have to do with Coleman's investigation?

    Get over it GOP lost................Why isn't everyone outraged at what BUSH and CHENEY said about IRAQ invasion........So and So What about the WMD that was not found.............they both said they were going to invade iraq no matter what.................That is the biggest story and no one is outraged? Tell that to the mother fathers wives and family members of the troops over there...........

    December 17, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. tanner, ca

    These comments on the Ticker are a complete joke. Do you people think you're really influencing ANYONE? Do you really think ANYONE takes you seriously when you spew your junk?

    December 17, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. BS not Maverick

    tick tock!

    December 17, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. cjr

    He's a republican – what should we expect – the party of racists and right wing nuts. We have a governor problem in illinois and may have a special election -=don't care who will run for this open seat – but will not and never vote for a republican

    December 17, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    HE'S A MEMBER OF THE OLD, WHITE, RICH GUYS PARTY aka GOP.

    LIKE TED STEVENS OF ALASKA, COLEMAN WILL BE FOUND GUILTY AS CHARGED.

    December 17, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Terry, Lakeland Florida

    Even when Bush stole the elections in 2000, we, Gore, supporters said, okay Bush is our president we will give him the benefit of the doubt.
    ----------
    EVERYONE even GORE has stated that after all the recounts Bush WON...so how about we drop the whole stole thing...it's old, stupid and false.

    December 17, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Stacy from Leesburg VA

    I just think it’s funny to see GOP people pointing fingers at corruption and my own Dems doing the same thing. Folks, a bum is a bum no matter on what side of town they panhandle and that should be what is important here. Party affiliation means nothing to me if I see a crooked politician-I just see a lying dirty dog. Blago, Spitzer, Coleman, Stevens, Cunningham, Libby and Jefferson all belong to the same party in my estimation: the Jailbird Party.

    December 17, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Tony

    To NY Republican, you are more than a scumbag, you are White man's N-–r bottom line. a total sell out.

    December 17, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. McWhine

    Where is Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reily, and Rush Limbaugh crowds on this issue?? Shouldn't they do a penetrating, detailing reporting on Coleman??

    December 17, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. dan

    Typical list of comments from all the liberal posters, full of insight and fairmindedness. CNN is beyond a joke in my opinion...there is simply ZERO probability that ALL the stories having to do with a Republican would be littered with comments that are 90%+ slanted toward the typical liberal vitriolic themes....all Repub's are crooks, unqualified, stupid, liars, etc. Are we supposed to believe that kind of distribution is representative of the country?

    Anyway, I'm sure this post will be "moderated" right into the trash folder, but I will try to offer a comment anyway. I live in MN, and actually would prefer we do something similar to Georgia, which requires a run-off election if no candidate gets 50%+ of the vote.

    December 17, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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