December 17th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
6 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. RJ, CA

    People, people! We are ALL Americans who want the best for our country. Sometimes is "our" party "in power," sometimes it's not.

    Can we all just "bury the hatchet" and move forward. If this particular "forward" turns out to be good — GREAT! If not, we'll change course AGAIN — as we have so many, many times before.


    Happy Holidays to ALL my fellow Americans, of whatever polictical party affiliation!!

    December 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  2. Willy Brown

    Here come the liberals with one last try to STEAL a senate seat!

    December 16, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  3. tim

    Closer and closer the case creeps toward the President elect–release
    the Rezko tapes. The truth should come out before the President elect
    becomes the President. Why face another melt down of a sitting President

    December 16, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  4. BB

    A corrupt Republican? Say it ain't so. Heck, they are bible thumpers – they don't lie.

    December 16, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  5. Carl Justus

    It appears that these last eight years the republican party thought they owned the country and could parcel it out in pieces to anyone who had the cold hard cash.
    It also appears they did not try to hid much of it, for there has been some 12 or more that have been indicted, or convicted along with some 3 or 4 inc,luded from the administration.
    They apparently thought they were elected as dictators and could as they pleased and did for a long time and now when the shoes begin to fall they just keep falling.

    December 16, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  6. Brandon

    Wouldn't surprise me for a second to find that coleman is cheating and breaking the law. 1. he is a bush republicon and 2. he was a sleazball who ended up in the senate only because the GREAT Paul Wellstone died weeks before the election, and coleman was a total scumbag in exploiting that death and the heartfelt reaction to it. He is scum. GO AL!

    December 16, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  7. John

    No investigation here because the senator is a republican and the bush administration fired all attorneys that refused to investigate democrats.

    December 16, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. Steve

    Do you really want a slime ball like Franken?
    This is a setup and I live in Ohio.
    Way to go slime ball SNL jerk.

    December 16, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. Franky

    Look at that. December is turning into corruption month for crying out loud, LOL!!

    December 16, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. aliou

    lThe media is not talking about this because the accused is a republican. The story is not interesting to mainstream media because it is not a democrat.

    talk of media bias: we are all over Barack, Jesse Jackson Jr. and the gov. of illinois.

    December 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. JFK

    Considering the Republican track record, I won't hold my breath.

    December 16, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. Texas Teacher

    And we are so very sure that being a Republican that he is NOT capable of corruption?

    Dang... the GOP seems to be built on corruption, lies, and false attacks. All I have to think of is the Cheney snear and smirk... yeah, they are cabable of just about anything! 🙂

    December 16, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. alvino

    Maybe Bago and Coleman can be cellmates in prison.

    December 16, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |

    the opening of PANDORAS BOX.. it gets much better folks..wait until OBAMA is named

    December 16, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  15. Mike in Seattle

    Harry Reid and the DNC doing their finest work!

    December 16, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  16. Charlie in Maine

    Q: Why is it more newsworthy when a Democrat breaks the rules than a Republican?

    A: Why is a diamond worth more than a lump of coal? It is so danm rare.

    December 16, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  17. Hunter Reid

    I see in the CNN story that Norm Coleman is a Republican. OK, I can appreciate facts, but I didn't seem to notice in the CNN story the party affiliations of the governor or Illinois and Jesse Jackson, Jr. Just a minor oversight, I'm sure.

    December 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  18. ashraf nasr

    i love hillary cilinton

    December 16, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |

    Just another Reptilian party reptile showing us all how to apply those "family values"!

    And they wonder why they lost by 7% points.

    December 16, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  20. Someone in Cali

    No matter what happens the Republicans will always outnumber the Democrats in Corruption. The long list of corrupt Republicans include: Richard Nixon, Ted Stevens, Tom Delay, "Scooter" Libby, North Dakota Republicans, J. Edgar Hoover, Warren G. Harding, Dick Cheney(who admitted in the ABC interview that he is guilty of crimes of war by giving permission to CIA and Military to the torture and executions of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay), Norm Coleman and many more!

    December 16, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  21. Ker

    Hey Texas teacher.

    Have you ever heard of William Jefferson? How about Dan Rostenkowski?

    Your bias is showing. Keep drinking that cool aid and sticking your head in the sand.

    December 16, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  22. tom

    so sad this nation has become what the roman empire was 40 years before its great fall. if obama doesnt change the evil the republican have brought down on us then we need to start a revolution and take back this country for we the people.

    December 16, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  23. You don't need to know my name

    A lying, cheating, good for nothing Republican . . . tell me something that I haven't heard before!

    December 16, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  24. San Jose

    He's still a republican isn't he??? 1/2 the party is in prison,1/4 is awaiting sentencing and 1/4 haven't been caught yet... By the way which one of you burned down Gov. Palin's church????

    December 16, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  25. Pepe Le Pew

    What is on earth is going on with all of this corruption? It seems that every since the beginning of this election cycle, there has been nothing but uncovering of "sins" in our government. Is this why our economy is failing.....the corrupt is banking all of it? ......especially the "MADOFF" person...who "made off" with everyone's money.

    These senators and governors are truly setting a standard for the rest of those in office.....we don't know who to trust!

    MEN....why are you so corrupt? There have not been any women in the limelight of corruption. It's time for women to take over this country. (except Palin)

    December 16, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
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