Franken-Coleman Update, 02/27/09 (AM Edition): Oh. My. Goodness.
This was supposed to be the last day of testimony by Coleman’s witnesses — and it may well end in sanctions for Joe Friedberg, Tony Trimble, and a few other members of the Coleman legal team. Why? Because it turns out that, contrary to her testimony given earlier this week, Pamela Howell really was in deep communications — including e-mails — with the Coleman legal team concerning her testimony and evidence that she somehow neglected to present to either the Franken team or the ECC.
Franken attorney David Lillehaug presented to the court this morning e-mails between Ms. Howell and the Coleman lawyers discussing her future testimony, as well as explicitly stating their strategic intention to not disclose her identity or the nature of her testimony to the Franken team.
Now, the ECC had first struck her testimony from the record, then unstruck it when they ruled that her boo-boos were likely "inadvertent". Now, before the day is out, this testimony is likely to be struck once again — and it may well be that the entire "double counting" argument, for which she was the Coleman team’s sole witness, will be struck from the trial.
The likelihood that her testimony, if not the entire double-counting gambit, will be struck is bolstered by the fact that the Coleman courtroom team has suddenly gone berserk. Their lead trial attorney, Joe Friedberg, accused, without a shred of evidence, Franken’s team of doing all sorts of naughty things (such as coaching state director of elections Cindy Reichert) without a shred of evidence. In addition, fellow Coleman attorney James Langdon accused the Franken team — again, without a shred of evidence — that they were not honest in the discovery process. (Can you say "projection", boys and girls? I knew you could.) They wouldn’t be doing this sort of thing in open court — which is normally a guaran-damn-teed ticket to a big-ass sanction — if they thought it wasn’t going to be stricken from the record along with Howell’s testimony. Either that, or they’re so fricking desperate, now that their shenanigans with Howell have been exposed, that they’re going all in with the bullpucky on the idea that if they’re going to get sanctioned anyway, they might as well do so in a blaze of idiocy.
The Coleman case is imploding before our very eyes, taking the reputations of several attorneys along with it. Even what Team Coleman touted as a big coup this week — alleged apparent ballot-stuffing in St. Louis County, a Franken stronghold — turned out to be not exactly what Ben Ginsberg and Company claimed it was.
Invest in popcorn futures, people. And follow along over at The UpTake. It’s glorious.