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December 16, 2008

Coleman lawyers up

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and his wife, Laurie, have hired two of Minnesota’s top lawyers to represent them in a preliminary FBI probe into their connections with businessman and campaign contributor Nasser Kazeminy.

These are in addition to the lawyers on his campaign to help handle the ongoing litigation in the Minnesota Senate race recount against Al Franken.

From the Star-Tribune:

Four of Minnesota's biggest legal guns have cast their shadows over two lawsuits that have drawn the attention of the FBI.

They 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.

Three of the lawyers are former assistant U.S. attorneys who have prosecuted white-collar criminal cases. The fourth attorney has a reputation among prosecutors, defense colleagues and judges for thoroughness and aggressiveness wrapped in a civil demeanor.

Norm Coleman has hired Doug Kelley, Laurie Coleman is represented by Earl Gray, Hays is aligned with Doug Peterson and Kazeminy has secured the services of Joe Friedberg.

Kelley, Gray and Peterson are former federal prosecutors now engaged in criminal defense and white-collar litigation. For years they have been mainstays in the federal judicial system in Minnesota, working cases ranging from fraud to drugs to homicide.