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. Julia

    I do not believe it.. So if it is true.. what is the problem? We have a Treasure Secretary who is a tax cheater!!

    Republicans 2012....

    February 8, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  2. Amy

    Wow, it actually took longer than I thought for something to be dug up on Steele. And once again the GOP are all about 'do as we say not as we do'.

    February 8, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  3. Amber

    Will the last honest politician please turn off the lights when they leave...

    February 8, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  4. Political Queen

    Well, well, well, Mr. Steele, would you like to explain this here stimulus to your sister company? Oh, believe informed cnn lovers, there is indeed more. I live in Maryland. It's only a matter of time before Mr. Steele answers questions regarding the fact that he supported Gov. Ehrlich (former governor of Maryland) at a fundraiser held at a country club that was for "whites" only. The reason he said "he doesn't play golf." Nice anser...NOT! There's more, but I'll let CNN do the digging. What kind of leader is this? I'll tell you, he isn't a leader and he is only going to push people further away from the republican party. Let's just let this thing play, it gets better and better.

    February 8, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  5. Texas Teacher

    Oh, Really?

    Sounds like this is far worse than Daschle's little faux paux.. Hope I spelled that right... I know there are those here who cannot stand a little misspelled word... *LOL* Unless it is spelled just right... they don't understand the word... or worse... the point! It is rather like the Repubs who cannot agree with anyone on anything if they are a Dem! Seriously... I find it truly silly... 🙂 Oh, wait.... it is the Repubs.. if they cannot defend their argument... they will go off on a tangent in any direction rather than admit they are wrong!

    I digress.... these Repubs need to do some housecleaning before they go criticizing anyone.... least of all Dems. I mean... .I thought they would have learned with the Palin mess that vetting... vetting... vetting... has to be the name of the game!

    February 8, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. D

    George Stephanopolos biased for Republican? I believe that if you check, he was WH SPOKESPERSON for Democrat Bill Clinton!

    February 8, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |

    Go tell your lies to that S>>>O>>>B in Crawford, Texas. If you can sober the B>>A>>S>>T>>>A>>R>>D up long enough to hear you..

    I for one am sick of REPUBLICANS and all their C???R???A???P

    February 8, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  8. Doc

    I sure Steele has NABISCO stamped somewhere on him!

    February 8, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  9. no surprise here

    I see that all the outraged Republicans ranting about the tax issues in Obama's cabinet are noticeably absent from this page.

    February 8, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. Patty from Pennsylvania

    So the RNC just voted Steele to be head of thier party...a man who has been palling around with a FELON!!!!!

    February 8, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. Texas Teacher

    Get a life... Repubs... no one is going to be fooled by your token black or your hip hop republicanism! *LOL* Seriously... you guys need to go back into your caves or under your rocks or where ever you hide and let someone... Obama.... clean up your potty mess!

    I for one... am just sick and tired of Republican Bluster with no substance behind it... you lost... accept and GO AWAY! 🙂

    February 8, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  12. Gil

    More republican corruption. Right from the top!

    February 8, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  13. BC in NC

    (Often the surest way to convey misinformatuon is to tell the strict truth.)

    The above, a quote from the wit and wisdom of Mark Twain. How true.

    February 8, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  14. brian

    Wow, maybe he isn't a token but a real Republican, after all.

    February 8, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. Xavier

    Steel, Steel, Steel, you have been found lacking in the same area that you have accused others of lacking. I wouldnt trust republicans to do a good job at anything, not even cleaning my toilet.

    February 8, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |

    WELCOM TOKEN! You are the leader of STUPID! YOU HAVE JOINED YOUR PARTY BY DISRESPECTING THE PRESIDENT AND THEY ARE LOVING IT. I am a 59 year old Woman and I am saddened by your antics and shoe shuffling for the Republicans. At first I said that I switched to the Democratic Party because of biggots in the Republican Party and now there's you; What a mess. First the Republicans pulled Palin out of their butts now they have you. What a shame. Well I can see in 2010 more Republicans are going to move over to the Dems if for nothing else but SHAME they'll come just like I did.

    February 8, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. Sleepless in Colorado

    Great news! I'm not surpised to hear that another politician is involved in a scandal, especially a Repulican. This guy is a joke and I hope he drives that party into the ground. Thanks for screwing us over Republicans. We love to hate your guts, and it shows! 🙁

    February 8, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Patty in the CA mountains

    Of COURSE it was legitimate......

    February 8, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  19. Linda in MS

    Oh, the irony! Now that there's a high-ranking Republican under the microscope again, it's merely a case of liberal media bias. I am shocked that one of the crazies out there hasn't blamed Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid for this. What a mess this country has become. I think we should let all of the far left move to California, the far right to Alaska, and the moderates of both parties can live everywhere else.

    February 8, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  20. Mark

    Ok...here's the question: Why would you poor money into a company that is being "dissolved by attorneys"?? Why would you engage in business with your "sister's" company to begin with??

    February 8, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  21. Les Johnson

    Meant Democrats not Republicans obviously!

    February 8, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  22. BB

    Guess all the power of that money went to his head.

    February 8, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. dave

    They vetted Palin too and how did that turn out. Vetting this people in politics is like a box chocolates you never know what you get.

    February 8, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  24. Uche

    He that must go to Equity must go with clean hands. Mike, before you attempt to remove the speck in someone's eye, try and remove the log in your eyes first.
    NO one should try to belittle another for the sheer need of profit because one day it willbe you turn.
    Most of these Republican Senators/Reps opposing the Stimulus bill, calling it democratic spending bill, where were they when GWB was borrowing and spending , they were justifying it onthe "War Against Terror" phrase. Rebuilding Iraq with our hard earned tax dollars Stop these hypocrisy.

    February 8, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  25. Dan

    Unbelievable–what a hypocritical scumbag/ Welcome to Washington–business as usual for the GOP.

    February 8, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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