FBI Investigating Coleman Associate

Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, still embroiled in a recount battle with Democratic rival Al Franken, may have bigger things than reelection to worry about: According to the Pioneer Press, "Federal investigators are looking into allegations that a longtime friend and benefactor tried to steer money" to Coleman.

(CBS)
Two lawsuits have been filed alleging that a financier named Nasser Kazeminy tried to funnel money to Coleman and his wife. The newspaper writes that they "allege a host of improprieties, including that Kazeminy tried improperly to send [money from a Kazeminy-controlled company called Deep Marine] Coleman's way for no legitimate reason." Kazeminy has had ties to Coleman since the latter was mayor of St. Paul.

The lawsuits do not allege that the money made it to Coleman or that he was aware of an effort to steer money his way, and both Coleman and Kazeminy have said they have done nothing wrong.

"We welcome any investigation of these lawsuits by the appropriate authorities to get to the bottom of these baseless, sleazy and politically inspired allegations," Coleman's campaign said in a statement last night.

Coleman has a 192 vote lead in the recount with nearly all the ballots counted, though there are still several thousand challenged ballots outstanding. A canvassing board will examine those ballots next week.