December 17th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
7 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. jaye

    Of course the attorney is going to deny any wrongdoing.... but, the evidence is there.

    December 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. NY republican

    I'm tired- I'm called a "racist" for "not backing Obama" but I'm black, I'm called "unpatriotic" but my right leg is buried in Viet Nam, I'm called an "idiot" by people that can't spell, I'm called a "scumbag","war criminal", I "should be thrown in jail for life" because a few politcians made bad decissions. I'm told ALL republicans are "corrupt" yet I have never been investigated, wire tapped or arrested for anything. ALL republicans are NOT racist, unpatriotic, scumbag, corrupt, war criminals, some are just trying to get by like all the rest of you. Please stop the generalities.

    December 17, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. Mari

    @ RJ, CA......... BRAVO! WELL SAID! I agree with you. Its time, some of us grow up! Is a person's ego more important than the country they 'claim' to love?

    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.

    But not so, with the anti-Obama-far-right-hate-lies-mongers! You, people continue your attacks. Don't you realize that the hate-lies-fear-and-division spewed by the far-right-nuts IS WHAT LOST THE ELECTION FOR THE GOP????


    By the way, I thought this was funny, Keith Olbermann's Worst Person in the World was Limbaugh the Comedian, Limbaugh was ranting (as usual) and said that NEITHER MCCAIN OR POWELL WERE ..... TRUE .... REPUBLICANS! WHAT A JOKE ON THE FAR-RIGHT!

    December 17, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. Leadership

    Imagine Franken, Blagojevich or Jackson as our president!

    December 17, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Brad - California

    Yeah, another one. How many corruption scandals does it take, and it's not just limited to republicans or democrats. What's going on with Senator Dodd? He needs to be gone also. When are apathetic Americans going to learn?

    December 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. Al Franken

    Why is everyone looking at me?

    December 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Heike, Germany(greetings to all!)

    This guy was already being investigated since October – before the November elections – yet the race was tight and now a recount is currently underway to decide who won?
    His fellow rebubs should have replaced him with another – he should have been disqualified. Down here he wouldn't have dared to run for anything.
    Blagojevich would have resigned within hours of how he betrayed the public trust, made the news headlines! Followed by state-wide public demonstrations against him!

    December 17, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. HelpTheAmericanPeople

    Lets investigate him and its not coming from Obama like someone suggested .
    The GOP are crooks anyway .
    Look at the GOP attack ads running now against Obama these people and their NEOCON supporters have no principle at all.
    I hope AL Franken wins when all those other voters are counted that Senator Coleman does not want counted.

    December 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |

    OK, another Repube going down the tube by taking money under the table. When is America going to learn that you Repubes are the party that America fought so long and hard for are really the enemy? The Repubes came into the spotlight in the 90's with the party for change...little did we know what "change" meant. Not only change but dollar bills, checks, gifts, etc.

    December 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. End Of An Error

    The USA needs to get very tough on corruption in government. It is killing this country to have people abusing office for personal gain.

    When these kinds of people are found guilty, the maximum penalties allowed by law need to be applied.

    December 17, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Billy J , TX-

    We will fix this country, with or without the help of some of the conservatives who at the moment have nothing to offer but vitriol and blind accusations. We will fix this mess that the money brokers and crappy CEO's have left us. We will fix this mess that invading Iraq put us in. We will fix this mess that, ignoring our schools and college tuitions have put us in.

    It won't be cheap, it won't be painless, so a lot of the fast food, walmart culture (which is most of us, me included) will definitely notice, but we are a great enough nation and group of proud citizens that WE WILL FIX THIS. (it's too bad that our children will be paying the lions share of the fixes we have to make now, but at least they will inherit a working vital economy and planet from us)

    December 17, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. TJ

    Is it too much to ask for us to have a non-corrupt government? Is it?

    December 17, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. MLD ND

    Pay for your own lawyer Coleman.

    December 17, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. Matt

    haha, hey Coleman, you'r enot good enough, you're not smart enough and gosh darn it, people don't like you....

    December 17, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. mike, different from other two

    So is the current democrat that is in chrage of the ethics committe going to investigate this now or after his committe gets done clearing him of charges of corruption?

    December 17, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Let's just hang him

    Holy Cow! Reading these posts you'd think the legal process in this country had been replaced by lynch mobs. Given the propensity of the media and blogs like this to blow everything out of proportion it is no wonder that at the first sign of trouble public figures hire lawyers. I don't know if the Sen is guilty or not but I am content to see how this all plays out before rendering an opinion.

    December 17, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. NY republican

    Thanks "help the american people" I forgot to mention a few generalities but you covered them quite well. I'll add "no principled crooks" to the list of what I am NOT. I do "feel the love" from people like you. If you are a true representation of President Obama's supporter we , as a country, are in deeper trouble than I think.

    December 17, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Joanne Buck

    What they have to do is check the incoming checks to Norm Coleman's wifes employer, and their won't take long.
    I'm neither Rep or Dem (both stink in my opinion), however ever since Franken has been involved in our area (he moved back here in 2006) the ads, accusations have been from the cesspool, thus I'm skeptical of the accusations of Coleman.
    We need to remove 90% of all politicians State and Federal and find us some Harry Truman type people = honest.
    J Buck

    December 17, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Whatever happened to waiting for the facts?

    Holy Cow! Reading these posts you'd think the legal system in this country had been replaced by those in favor of bringing back lynch mobs. "Don't bother me with the facts and don't you dare allow him to tell his side od the story...let's just do him in and forget all about this justice stuff." With fine upstanding Americans like the ones represented in this blog, it's no wonder public figures hire lawyers at the first sign of potential trouble.

    December 17, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. Jack Carlson

    We are a sick society of no morals, nor decency and no respect of life, thus how can we go to other countries and claim we are the police of the world and we know what is right.
    Our poor kids have no examples.
    However, it is obvious Franken has been trying to dig votes from underground....he's bad news as well.
    Jack Carlson

    December 17, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. Kathy

    Well at least this reTHUGlican is not soliciting sex in a bathroom, or sending inappropriate messages to pages.
    This is just your typical reTHUGlican, getting money anywhere he can get it so he can do whatever the hell he wants. For more please see:
    Jack Abramhoff
    Ted Stevens
    Ney from Ohio
    Kenny boy Lay
    All the Enron managers
    Dick "I never met a no bid contract to Halburton I didn't like" Cheney

    December 17, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Mesa Mick

    Of course Coleman took bribes – he's a hypocritical, bible thumpin' repugliCON isn't he?

    December 17, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. JV

    Yeah....get rid of all the crooked politicians I say. And when the dirt comes out on Rahm Emmanuel (in due time) we need to get rid of him also. No favoritism please.

    December 17, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. david

    Slime and sleaze know no party affiliation. Through our nations history, greedy, small minded, self consumed men and women have sought to enrich themselves to the detrement of everybody else. This is the way it works here and everywhere else. Should it be that way? No, but that's the way it is. Fortunately, we have a free press and others that are willing to look into this kind of behavior and make it public.

    December 17, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. jaye

    Of course he denies any wrong doing – get a full investigation immediately and stop giving Governor Blojo so much press.
    Coleman is a republican...... nuff said.

    December 17, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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