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. Scrub Rinse, Repeat

    A republican crook. That's a real shocker, NOT! It's interesting that the first time CNN prints this story, it's with the headline indicating the crook's denial. CNN = the new Faux News.

    February 8, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. Lush Limprick is the REAL RNC Chairman

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

    Just to be clear Fabian was the Chairman of his Finance Committee. Steele had a convicted felon running his finances? Steele was hoping that Fabian would accept his illegal actions?

    Apparantly that is why Lush allowed Steele to win.

    February 8, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  3. Sye the Pychic

    Did anyone think Mr.Steele would say its true and I will now resign?

    February 8, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. texasgreenacres


    February 8, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. Yep, okay

    in his world, you're only at fault if you're a Democrat.

    Dream on, dude.

    February 8, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. Helen

    Here we go again. I am not saying this man is guilty, but are any of these politicians squeaky clean. I don't think so. It is so sad.

    February 8, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. John McCain

    What a piece of republican trash

    February 8, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  8. roland

    A journalist is never supposed to be bias, I think. Everyone knows around the world that George Stephanopolos is always bias towards the Republicans. So, instead of finding something positive to say about this new honorable RNC Chair, he went the other way.

    This will not be a good legacy for him, looking back 30years from today.

    February 8, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  9. Austin Haywood

    I want to know why Michael Steele wasn't vetted by the RNC the same way President Obama staff is being vetted. This not the first time a incident came up about Mr. Steele. Wasn't he made had to answer about using his clients trust in the past. The Republicans did as a challenge to Mr.Obama.

    February 8, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  10. Mickey, New York

    Republicans Are Creepy...

    February 8, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. Charlie in Maine

    New rules in Obama's Washington. It will take both party's a while to catch up. So let's have a morotorium on "gotcha politics" lets just relax and realize that in the future we will have to be honest and ethical. You can't change this part of the political culture all at once but thank God we are starting to adjust.

    February 8, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. Will R

    I had hoped that Michael Steele would bring change to the GOP and make it back into a party of which one might be proud to rejoin, one of core fiscal values, honesty, and "country first."

    Sadly, looks nothing more than business as usual for the RNC.

    February 8, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. Ed

    Well, they said he was a reincarnation of Bush. I guess they were right. All ready breaking the law!! That didn't take long.

    February 8, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  14. Proud Yankee


    Glad this came out after he was put in his position so he can be properly beaten up over it.

    February 8, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. obama all the way

    I WONDER??

    February 8, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  16. The Lady

    When you sling mud at others it usually comes back at you.

    February 8, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  17. Victor from Denver

    Now the truth comes out !!!

    February 8, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Ernie

    The report details a history of questionable campaign transaction that appear to be federal violations and if only 1/2 are true he should resign or be removed. Sounds like he wasn't "vetted. The Republican National Committee will be considered as hypocrits if they allow him to stay.

    February 8, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. The Teester

    ..Ah...so he really isn't made of STEEl...it may be STEAL...

    February 8, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. M Paul

    Steele and his former boss don't talk because of his back door deals like this one. You can tell that he used the race card to get elected but as you know, he will not bring people that he thinks that he will bring in RNC. It is about policies. It is not about color. Remember that African Americans voted for them last time and when they realized how bad the twins of deceptions (Steel and his boss) were, the dumped them after four years. He knows that he won't be elected in Maryland....Steel, steals

    February 8, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  21. Ernie in LA

    Are any of these people worth anything. Don't they know that their past will catch up with them?

    February 8, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. dave

    I hope Mr. Steele fix his problems, but his politics I have a big problem with. I watch him on the This Week, this morning and he really don’t have the facts down. His not knowing why removing the fish blocks doesn’t help the economy. If he thought for a moment that the fishing industry in the north western United States needs the Salmons to swim up the rivers to mate then return to the ocean where they can be caught and processed at the canneries that provide jobs, and food for us at a completive price that how it stimulate the economy. And I not a fisherman.

    February 8, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. Vietnam COMBAT Vet, OHIO

    "UNCLE TOM" Steele!! Just another low life republican!!!

    February 8, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  24. Jesse in DC

    I am very familiar with Mr Steele since I was born and raised in Maryland. I used to support him, but now that he has become a puppet for the RNC and is being used by the powers that be to come against another black man (President Obama) I cannot stand Mr Steele. I believe that he is really crooked and that he is also a big fool. He has lost a lot of support from the black community in Maryland. I hope he does not think African Americans will vote republican next election because his crooked lying self is the chief.

    February 8, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  25. Sye the Pychic

    Yes and the Earth is flat and his head comes to a point.

    February 8, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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