Attorneys for Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) have asked the Federal Election Commission for permission to use campaign funds to pay his legal bills stemming from allegations that a Coleman confidante funneled improper payments to the lawmaker via his wife.
Coleman and his wife have denied any wrongdoing, but the former CEO of Deep Marine Technology, a Houston, Texas, company, filed a lawsuit claiming that Nassar Kazeminy, a DMT investor, "coerced DMT to make improper payments of $75,000 to Laurie Coleman through her employer, for the ultimate benefit of her husband."
A similar lawsuit was also filed in Delaware after media reports that Kazeminy may have paid "large bills for clothing purchases" by Coleman and his wife at Neiman Marcus.
A liberal watchdog group in Minnesota, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, wrote to the FBI in November asking it to investigate the allegations, and also filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, another liberal organization, filed a complaint with the ethics panel as well.