Just when the election court in Minnesota had given Norm Coleman’s legal team a break by reversing itself on a decision to strike a witness’ testimony because Norm’s lawyers withheld evidence from the Franken team, it turns out there’s more evidence related to Coleman’s lawyers’ contact with this same witness that they still hadn’t divulged until Franken’s lawyer brought it out this morning on cross examination of the witness.
At issue: secret emails between Coleman’s lawyers and the witness informing her that they were going to put off disclosing her name and statements to the other side. Happily, Coleman’s lead lawyer threw his fellow lawyers under the bus in explaining the “mistake.” But how much of this was a mistake and how much of this was deliberate litigation strategy is not immediately clear. Let’s just say it smells a bit.
It’s pretty clear the three-judge panel has had it with Coleman’s lawyers. It’ll be interesting to see whether this latest episode exhausts any remaining benefit of the doubt they have in favor of Norm’s team.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.