Minnesota: Coleman Team Rests; Franken’s Case Begins

Posted March 2, 2009 at 6:29pm

The legal team for Democrat Al Franken will begin presenting its case before a three-judge panel in Minnesota today, after lawyers for former Sen. Norm Coleman (R) wrapped up their case in the Gopher State’s Senate recount trial Monday.

“After five weeks of trial, we have reached a milestone in this case,— lead Franken attorney Marc Elias told reporters on a conference call Monday.

Elias said his team will call in 15 to 20 Minnesota voters to testify before the three-judge election panel that will ultimately decide whether to uphold or dismiss the statewide recount tally that followed the November election. Coleman, who trails Franken by 225 votes, is contesting the results of that recount.

“What we’ll find at the end of this is the counties got it more right than wrong,— he said.

If Minnesota’s three-judge panel upholds the recount outcome, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he will seat Franken, a comedian and former star on “Saturday Night Live.— Franken could be seated as soon as early April.

Meanwhile, on a separate conference call with reporters, Coleman legal counsel Ben Ginsberg argued that the current court count is hopelessly flawed and there is no way that the proceedings will produce an accurate result.

“We want to get this done as quickly as possible but it is important to get this right,— Ginsberg said. “Whoever wins this, at the end of day, needs to have a result that can stand up to scrutiny and can have people have faith in that result. The sooner the better as far as we’re concerned.—

He also held out the possibility of holding a revote.

“That’s something for the three judges to deal with for now,— he said. “They’ve created a great deal of uncertainty and problems, and they’re going to have to come to grips with it.—