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."


Filed under: Norm Coleman • Popular Posts
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Mark

    Norm Coleman may be the most amoral member of the senate. He would sell his own mother out if it was politically expedient. (Former democrat – bailed on them, best buddies with bush – bailed on him, people of minnesota – bailed on them). and I live in Minnesota....New York...will you please take him back.

    December 16, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  2. Chris

    Wait someone said the media is biased towards Democrats? Are you kidding me, the media might as well change their collective names to the Democratic News. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, are all full of Democratic dogma. If you think they are biased towards Democrats, then you might be slow in the head.

    December 16, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  3. ka...

    ONE MORE REPUBLICAN SENATOR?????????

    December 16, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  4. Danny in Chicago

    I'm so sick of the political corruption. Let's go back to the ORIGINAL GREEK DEMOCRACY! Every person should be put in office on a rotating basis. The common man or woman should have a voice – NOT the elites of this country who have done all of us so wrong.

    This is a reflection of the rich and powerful (and fankly – stupid) people who have had all the power for many many years. 'My dad made lots and lots of money and he transferred that money and his name to me, so I have all this power and money and my kids do too, therefore we keep all the power and decision making of this country within our family and no one else can have it.' THAT'S the problem we have in this country – the OLD MONEY PEOPLE NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND STAY THERE!

    December 17, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  5. KofTX

    Wow...I guess this type of thing ISN'T just secluded to Chicago politics!

    December 17, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  6. Clinton

    Come on people...corruption knows no ideology. People who run for office generally like the power that goes along with it; some of them take that power too far, and a subset of those get caught. It happens. It isn't a question of Democrats or Republicans, it's a question of hubris. Our only hope is to have a Justice Department reasonably removed from the political fray, and despite the obvious misdeeds of Alberto Gonzalez in that department, I'd be hesitant to issue a glossy statement of confidence in all prior Attorneys General.
    We are indeed America, and we need to remember that democracy relies on the individual character of every citizen.

    December 17, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  7. Texun

    Tim, It's time to leave Fantasy Land. Disney closes at night.

    December 17, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  8. Ryan

    tim, you need to face the fact... PRESIDENT ELECT OBAMA WILL BECOMES A PRESIDENT! Either you face the fact or get the heck out of USA.

    December 17, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  9. Reality

    Just a ploy by the PEOTUS to divert attention from the Chicago scandal. Don't want anyone digging up those skeletons.

    Hey, libs, the NPR is reporting that Obama Rezko and Blagojevish have all sorts of shady dealings. Thats, NPR the NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO which is one of the furthest left news agencies out there.

    Wake up.

    December 17, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  10. mike,texas

    What do you call a hundred politicians at the bottom of the sea?

    December 17, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  11. JP

    Nothing new really...The republicans are trying to portray democrats as corrupted while sweeping their claims under the rug...This will be the republican strategy to win 2012. But truthfully corruption is nothing new. Corruption and politics go hand in hand, so the only way to eliminate it is to eliminate politics, and we all know how that goes.

    December 17, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  12. Dave in Houston

    If the Minnesota recount stays as close as it is, and Coleman runs into serious trouble, the Senate actually can choose to seat Franken.

    December 17, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  13. sandee in Portland

    Another dishonest politician. Between this and the Governor of Illinois, it just goes to prove there isn't an honest politician out there any more. They've all taken something they weren't supposed to including Clinton. I don't care what party you are a member of, you all should be outraged at the dishonesty in our politicians. This says a lot about the idealolgy of our country and its citizens. What happened to good old honest people. It seems everyone is only out for their own self service.

    December 17, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  14. mike

    Wow. At least he wasn't selling a seat in the US senate or hiding money in a freezer.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!

    December 17, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  15. Jeremy

    You dems have been dominating the corruption department!! Blago, Dodd, Frank, Rangle, Spitzer, that congressmen from FL. Have all of Obama's donors been identified yet??

    December 17, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  16. Neal

    Al Franken is going to the mattresses, he must hate Coleman.

    December 17, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  17. Dennis from Millbrae, CA

    Just another scumbag taking yet another brick out of the foundation of this country. If this political/financial/industrial conduct and performance continues much longer, the house will be coming down. Maybe we need to set a term limit for CEOs and members of Congress, then just sentence them to prison for the same number of years they served just to be on the safe side.

    December 17, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  18. liko8d

    very very interesting blog

    December 17, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  19. Azrael

    Ok I don't like REP or DEMS but this is way too convenat for that shady little smuck running against him.... And yes DEMS your party is just as bad and if not worse then REP.........

    December 17, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  20. Alex

    Wellstone was probably offed to make way for scumbag Coleman. One of many crimes that should probably be laid to rest at the feet of our esteemed vice-president and loyal Halliburton/Blackwater operative Cheese Dickney... Err.. Dick Cheney.

    If these charges against Coleman are true, I hope he gets nailed as well for using campaign funds for personal legal expenses.

    December 17, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  21. lilacs

    The lawsuits against coleman was filed back in October and he is just now hiring an lawyer. Sound like he is trying to make it look like this is just now happening. Two lawsuits one from Delaware and one from Texas. I dont think this is has anything todo with Franken but with Coleman hisself and he is just tring to blame Franken and take the focus off hisself and his wife. Maybe Coleman should do want the moron gov in Illinois should do If resign.The different is the democrats is the will call for the governor or senator or whom ever to step down while the republicans will help there person,Like Ted Stevens or Larry Craig continue to lie to the peopleand blame everyone else.

    December 17, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  22. Ray Fisher

    I think an important factor has been overlooked for many years concerning our elected officials in that they take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and all the laws of our nation, thus if Coleman or any other official is found guilty of a crime nothing is ever mentioned about them violating their oath to the nation by comitting their crime. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is also in the news as an informant to the federal prosecutors yet is that not also a part of his oath of office to report wrongdoing as protecting and defending our Constitution??? These people recite their oaths of office and yet never seem to comprehend the words. Protecting and defending the Constitution means a duty to report crimes and refrain from criminal activity. Tis well past time for everyone to take their oaths of office seriously!!!

    December 17, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  23. amr

    To all those who seem to think corruption is some sort of GOP policy, I have one word: Blagojevich.

    December 17, 2008 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  24. Lee

    Please send him to prison.
    I just don't want to see all those TEETH anymore.

    Coleman is dirty. But he is just a petty criminal like Blago of Illinois. The ones that need to face justice are Cheney, Dubya, and the lawyers Dubya hired that told him that he was King, not just a President. They should be tried in Iraq.

    December 17, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  25. 7035

    My comment is for A.G. I totally agree with your comment. You put it together perfectly.

    December 17, 2008 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
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