February 8th, 2009
05:09 PM ET
5 years ago

Payments to sister's company were 'legitimate,' Steele says

RNC chairman Michael Steele responded Sunday to a recent Washington Post report.
RNC chairman Michael Steele responded Sunday to a recent Washington Post report.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – New Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said Sunday that payments to his sister’s company by his 2006 Senate campaign were proper.

Steele’s former finance chairman alleged in documents provided to federal prosecutors that Steele arranged for his Senate campaign to pay tens of thousands of dollars to a company owned by his sister, according to a report by the Washington Post published Saturday.

Alan B. Fabian, the former Steele aide, alleged that the company never performed any services for the campaign in exchange for the money and the Post reported that the company was defunct at the time the payment was made.

“It was a legitimate reimbursement of expenses, Steele told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday. “If my sister had not been reimbursed, I and she would have been in violation of McCain-Feingold finance law,” Steele added.

“Those allegations were leveled by a convicted felon who was trying to get a reduced sentence on his conviction,” Steele said of Fabian.

Steele told Stephanopoulos that the payment was made to reimburse his sister’s company at a time when her lawyers were in the process of dissolving the company.


The Post also reported that Fabian made other allegations of questionable transactions involving Steele’s campaign funds in an effort to obtain leniency in plea negotiations on unrelated fraud charges. Fabian was sentenced to 9 years in prison.

Steele denied any wrongdoing on ABC’s “This Week.”

“It’s all false,” Steele said Sunday.

As the newly elected RNC chairman, raising millions of dollars for the national party will be one of Steele’s primary responsibilities.

“I want to clear my good name,” Steele said, adding that he will provide information to the FBI about Fabian’s allegations. “This is not the way I intend to run the RNC with this over my head. We’re going to dispense with it immediately.”


Filed under: Extra • Michael Steele
soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. NeoCon

    Another crook. Shoes at him.

    February 8, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. kerry

    only when you are republican.... Who knew?

    February 8, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. walter

    This was an extortion attempt from a convicted felon! We love you Micheal Steele!!

    February 8, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Ohio for Obama- Suburbs

    Wonder how the Rublicans going to spin this one. Somebody wasn't vetted!!!!!!!!!

    quote" Steele’s former finance chairman alleged in documents provided to federal prosecutors that Steele arranged for his Senate campaign to pay tens of thousands of dollars to a company owned by his sister"

    So Steele's rebuttal is quote "“It was a legitimate reimbursement of expenses, Steele told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday. “If my sister had not been reimbursed, I and she would have been in violation of McCain-Feingold finance law,” Steele added.

    Now Steele's name in hot water after dragging other names in the MUD.

    quote “I want to clear my good name,” Steele said, adding that he will provide information to the FBI about Fabian’s allegations. “This is not the way I intend to run the RNC with this over my head. We’re going to dispense with it immediately.”

    February 8, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. Proud American

    Sure they were. Good to see republicans haven't changed and are still liars and cheats.

    February 8, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Chelle in Fla

    Someone is palling around with theives!

    February 8, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. Karol

    Steele is a total joke. I've seen him speak twice so far since he was selected. He absolutely does not have what it takes to be the RNC chair. He was selected only because he was African-American.

    Obama, on the other hand, was selected because he was the best person for the job. Once again, the Republicans can't get it right. They need to sit down and shut up.

    February 8, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Justin, MA

    Poor Mr. Steele, he's the leader of a party that is slowly waning in popularity and is in legitimate danger of becoming a regional political party. I will be so happy to see the elections of 2010 shifting even more blue in the House, Senate, and Governorships. I'm so glad that their new-found leader is just as corrupt as the rest of the Republicans.

    February 8, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. debra from Georgia

    Yeah, blah blah blah.

    February 8, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. LF Oneto - VA

    It seems that some republican politicians are morally challenged -just as some Democrats are. To those of you who have crucified President Obama´s picks for cabinet posts for not paying their taxes, should be careful next time accusing the Democratic party of being a corrupt bunch. The history of the republican party is full of crooks, demagogues, and haf-as.s imbeciles like Reagan and W.

    February 8, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. Louie

    Word is the husband of Obama's Secretary of State was seen whoaring around the Bahamas last week. That would be a more exciting story than this non-story about Steele that CNN is fabricating.

    February 8, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  12. JB from Maryland

    Micheal Steele is one of the most competent, caring and thoughful politicians I have ever met. If there was some wrong-doing, it was bad advice given to him and not anything intentional. I am 100% certain of that.

    Leave the guy alone and go after the DNC chairman (the previous DNC chairman was "ripe" for some good newsbites.

    Better yet, go after Carl Rove. Put an "r" on the end of his last name and you can see that the pit bull's name is "Rover."

    February 8, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Eric

    Why did he hire a felon as an aide? Blago wanted to clear his name too, good luck with that.

    February 8, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Andy

    hmmmm....
    sounds like another crook republican got cought redhanded. We all know republicans are crooks and do not respect laws, Steele is not an exception it seems to that rule. sad. GOP should be extinct by now. Electing a black chairman should not help either, just shows how desperate GOP is to elected a black one to mirror Obama just to show that they can too. Shows desperation, just like when they picked Palin to sort of counteract for Hillary.
    GOP = no ideas, old philosophy. Only desperation left.

    February 8, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. Lori

    Well, well, well. Yet another corrupt Republican. Let the fun begin.

    February 8, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. Marge

    GEE no one has ever given an explanation as to why he tried to force Mike Tyson to give his sister all that money. She signed a pre nup and was not to receive a lot of money. But steele, the crook he is, tried to convince Tyson he was a lawyer and force him to sign over more of his money (that's when Tyson DID have money) to his (steele's) sister. And at the time he wasn't even a lawyer. He had flunked out of college several times. He later did go on to get a degree but where, in some hole in the wall in Mexico.

    February 8, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Comradio

    *crickets chirping*
    What, nothing to say to that? If he was a dem you'd be rallying for revolution again. It'd be Hannity's new story. Come on now, take some of the glorious personal responsibility and demand the same from your side, Republican hypocrites.
    I'm starting to hate you all, or at least, just the social conservatives who have never cracked a book but accept Limbaugh as the oracle. The wool is over your eyes and your just admiring the warmth.

    February 8, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Rick

    lookie looks like another one from the other side of the aisle.

    February 8, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. gerald

    ho yea what about the ten trillion dollars bush put us in debt i forgot we dont talk about that .

    February 8, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. Mike in MS

    HA HA pathetic dems trying to destroy the new kid on the block.

    February 8, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. I Toldyouso

    My question is - – Why would you do business with your sister's company when you know that when its discovered, and even if its legal, nothing good politically good can come of it??
    More likely than not, just like most other politicians, Steele thought that he could "get away with it".
    You really have to wonder what kind of mentality these sleazy politicians have when they are caught redhanded with their hands in the pockets of taxpayers. ISN'T THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE WHO THE AVERAGE AMERICAN CITIZEN CAN TRUST? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LEADERS OF OLD WHO YOU COULD PUT YOUR TRUST IN TO DO THE RIGHT THING? GOD HELP AMERICA!!

    February 8, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. Butch Dillon

    A quick downfall from a lofty, rules free altitude is in the making. With these guys, smoke always means fire. Watching Steele squirm is going to be have the fun.

    February 8, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. Jon Davis

    Crook.

    February 8, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. alvino

    Now that's the Steele I remember.

    February 8, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. jeff

    Of course. Only democrats lie, we all know that.

    But seriously, this guy needs to go away, quick.

    February 8, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
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