The FBI is looking into the allegations against Nasser Kazeminy, a close friend and supporter of Minnesota senator Norm Coleman, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The paper reports: “Agents with the FBI have talked to or made efforts to talk to people in Texas familiar with the allegations, according to a source familiar with the situation.”
The lawsuit, filed by the former CEO of a company owned by Kazeminy, alleges, among other things, that Kazeminy tried to use the company, Deep Marine Technologies, to pass money to Coleman via an insurance company that employed the senator’s wife.
Coleman’s campaign, which is in the midst of a recount against Democrat Al Franken to decide the fate of Coleman’s seat, released the following statement last night:
“We are not aware of any investigation that is under way, nor have we been contacted by any agency with respect to this matter. As we have said repeatedly, we welcome any investigation of these lawsuits by the appropriate authorities to get to the bottom of these baseless, sleazy and politically inspired allegations.
That denial — which Coleman’s Senate office had declined to offer to TPMmuckraker despite repeated calls — would appear to rule out the possibility of Coleman having been contacted by Senate ethics investigators, though there may be wiggle room in the wording. A Minnesota good government group last month called on both the FBI and the Senate to launch probes.
The FBI, contacted by the Pioneer-Press, did not confirm or deny the existence of the investigation.