Norm Coleman Reportedly Under FBI Investigation
by Jonathan Singer, Thu May 14, 2009 at 07:40:24 AM EDT
Sam Stein has the scoop for the Huffington Post:
The FBI is investigating allegations that former Senator Norm Coleman had clothing and other items purchased on his behalf by a longtime friend and businessman Nasser Kazeminy, according to a source in Minnesota who was interviewed recently by federal agents.
The Minnesota source said the FBI questioning focused on whether Kazeminy had purchased clothing on Coleman's behalf, reports of which surfaced in October. At the time, Coleman vehemently denied the allegations. "Nobody but me and my wife buy my suits," he said.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press separately has the story again:
FBI agents in Minnesota have begun asking questions about the relationship between former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman and a close friend and donor, according to a Minnesota source to whom the agents talked.
It's not clear that this will make the Republicans any less likely to try to further drag out litigation to keep Al Franken from being seated in the Senate. After all, as Republicans have already conceded, keeping Franken out of the Senate -- even if just for a few more weeks or months rather than for good -- means that they can still filibuster when they want to.
But with this news out there, it will be increasingly difficult and potentially even untenable for Minnesota's Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty to continue resisting to certify Franken's victory in the seemingly likely event that the state's Supreme Court does not overturn the current count in the election. Pawlenty could try to hold out -- but for a former Senator reportedly under FBI investigation? It will be a tough argument to make, one that could not only harm his chances at reelection (should that be his goal) but even his hopes of challenging Barack Obama in 2012 (should that be his goal).