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January 27, 2009

Coleman's Election Trial Not Going Well

The trial phase of the election contest got off to a rocky start yesterday afternoon when it was discovered that Coleman's attorneys had never been in a courtroom in their lives:

The trial on Minnesota's U.S. Senate recount stalled on its first day Monday when the judges said photocopies of 5,000 excluded absentee ballots couldn't be used as evidence because Republican Norm Coleman's campaign workers had marked on them.

The marks the campaign workers made included, in some cases, numbering or redaction of private information. After a Coleman witness admitted to the markings, Franken's attorneys objected to using them as evidence because they had been altered.

The three-judge panel hearing the case agreed and told Coleman's attorneys they would have to subpoena the original ballot envelopes instead. That could add days or more to a trial already expected to last weeks at a minimum.

"We were not prepared to go forward with any other part of the case - probably until next Tuesday," [Coleman's attorney Joe] Friedberg said.

That elicited little sympathy from the three-judge panel. "... you better have some backup witnesses," Judge Denise Reilly said.

Outside the courtroom yesterday evening, attorney Friedberg was heard to remark, "So, those guys in the robes, they were the judges, right?"


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:42 AM

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