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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/08/art.steelelogo0208.gi.jpg caption="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. Dan


    February 8, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  2. Brenda

    Oh, this is just the beginning. The republican party is F I N I S H E D!

    February 8, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. jb

    I'm sorry but this just sounds like another sleazy RNC story.

    February 8, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  4. Darren D. Johnson

    Mr. Steele, you was on TV today but no GOP Joe's for U!

    February 8, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. Perusing-Through

    Is the GOP disintegrating?

    February 8, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  6. Mike - Chicago

    Fabian = Liddy
    Steele = Bush
    Republicans = Losers
    Let's conjugate the verb Lose: Lost, Lose, Will Lose again and again and again.

    February 8, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  7. ANGIE

    TRASH TRASH TRASH! Same old same old Republicans and look COLOR Didnt even change that trashy party! hahahahahahahah

    February 8, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  8. james

    I always wondered how Fox News found the only two remaining black republicans, Steele and Juan Williams.

    February 8, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. Tone

    This is quite good, Steele is a patsy, a black dude being used as a tool to slam obama so the bigoted RNC wont take heat for bad mouthing the first black president. Steele actually believes he's going to be allowed to bring some sort of "Change" to the RNC. All he will suceed in is splitting the party because most GOP members didnt want a black man as Pres. and they SURELY dont want a black man at the head of their party.

    Keep up the good work Steele you will single handedly split the GOP in TWO, and thats a good thing because all the GOP racist will take their toys and GO HOME,

    February 8, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  10. MsRotten

    I read the story, yet I'm not at all CLEAR on what, exactly, the "tens of thousands of dollars to a company owned by his sister" to a "company was defunct at the time the payment was made" was for????

    Oh, Token One, Mr. Steele, can you please be a little more specific????

    February 8, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  11. sean

    Not a good start for Steele. I wonder what other skeletons are in his closet?

    February 8, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  12. Franky

    I ain't gonna judge Mr. Steele or we for that matter. Listen, you people out there who have it tough or literally have no business saying something are crazy, we don't go that far. Is one thing if you are corrupt in every way...like the hood BUT is another thing if misconceptions occur. I'm not saying Steele is at fault or he didn't do anything legitimate, maybe is just a big misunderstanding...but then again, he is the New Chairman and GOP so it shouldn't be surprised, LOL!!

    Wow...I just realized he's black, LOL!!

    February 8, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  13. Paul

    The Prevail elite of our Political spectrum should not be attached to truth and to the American democracy and therefore the media should not be afraid or support the status quo!

    February 8, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  14. MsRotten

    Do the RepubTards vet ANYONE anymore??????

    February 8, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  15. Franky

    I know this is off topic but has anyone seen "Vegas Barbie for Obama" lately?? I'm gonna repeat that..."Vegas Barbie for Obama", that's a V-E-G-A-S, followed by B-A-R-B-I-E and for Obama. Yeah, can you contact me if you find her? LOL!!

    February 8, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  16. D in Phoenix

    I'm sure Mr. Steele only used his sister's company after receiving competitive bids from three other companies. It would only be fitting with his free-market principles to do so.

    Republicans are so strong on limiting spending to matters that are only essential (like lining the pockets of themselves, their relatives' and business cronies. Does anyone remember Cheney and Haliburton?

    February 8, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  17. luke

    We gonna force people to know that we have a political discourse and there is a choice in America which the people went for in Nov.

    We gonna ashame these people who are holding onto goverment. The people's goverment!

    February 8, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  18. Chazzman

    I cannot understand why it's so difficult for people to believe that a politician in America could be on the take.
    I believe that the temptations are just too great for anyone but the strongest to turn down. John McCain's flirtation with disaster over Sterling Savings & Loan turned him into a crusader for campaign finance reform, until he realized he would be on the outside looking in if he kept it up. He dropped it.
    If a President and Vice-President can take bribes and make illegal payoffs, where does it end? Where do you think Nixon got the money to pay the Plumbers? Don't you remember why Spiro T. Agnew resigned as Vice-President? Do you think Reagan actually thought trickle-down economics would benefit the American people? Do you really think W took us to Iraq for the good of the common man?
    Don't even get me started about campaign financing. In that arena, except for a few oddballs, they're ALL on the take, Democrat or Republican (though I find it easy to believe the GOP gets paid a lot more - that's where the real money is).

    February 8, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  19. Craig

    Got a female in the running for president, we've got a female for vice president. Got a black President, we've got a black Chairman of the RNC! If black is in, we're black, too.

    The Republican party is in full "me too" retreat. No solutions to the recession...just stonewalled negativism. The United States public has moved beyond these mindless, unbending tactics

    February 8, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  20. Anonymous


    February 8, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  21. Avi Shlomo

    God Bless America for the corrupt leaders. both Rep and Dem have the same monopoly to Corruption. we get we voted for.

    February 8, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  22. once upon a horse

    a so it begins.........

    by the way has the real party leader Rush Limbaugh contacted Mr. Steele yet to offer him congradulations? It would not shock me if that answer is no. In fact Rush would probably rather have "Joe the Plumber" as RNC head than Mr. Steele.

    February 8, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  23. CNN is slipping

    You are right about Lou Dobbs. Independent? My big fat toenails. The angriest man I see on television. Is that his "thing" or is he really like that?
    Side issue: CNN really has slipped. Their anchors are true light weights. Rick Sanchez? Campbell Brown? Others? They don't mean bad, they just don't have a clue.

    February 8, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  24. In the know

    Even Jesus would fail the news spin test.

    February 8, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
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