Norm Coleman on the Defensive — Literally
Minnesota GOP Sen. Norm Coleman — who’s busy juggling a contentious election recount and allegations that a wealthy supporter tried to funnel him $100,000 in campaign cash through his wife’s employer — has hired a defense attorney to help with the latter. Oh, and so did his wife.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported yesterday that four of Minnesota’s top attorneys “have been retained by U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman; his wife, Laurie; Jim Hays, her insurance company employer; and Nasser Kazeminy, a multi-millionaire friend of the Colemans who is accused in the lawsuits of sending them money in 2007 through Hays’ company. Coleman’s Senate ethics form reports no such payment.”
The suits, which have caught the eyes of the FBI, are being brought by investors and a former head of Kazeminy’s Texas-based marine-services company. Though neither of the Coleman duo is named as a defendant in the lawsuits, they do “raise a question over whether Coleman received income that was not reported in his Senate ethics forms,” the Tribune reports. “Regardless of what the FBI does or doesn’t find in its investigation, the issue of unreported income is something the Senate Ethics Committee could choose to scrutinize. That panel has a policy of not confirming or denying its preliminary investigations.”
Sen. Coleman has denied any wrongdoing.