Balt. Sun: Steele's legal bills 

From the Baltimore Sun:

Former Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's personal political accounts were billed at least $188,000 by Washington law firms during his first year as chairman of the Republican National Committee, according to state and federal disclosure reports...the specific purpose for most of the expenditures wasn't disclosed, in apparent violation of Maryland reporting guidelines....Steele's state campaign committee, which dates from his 2002 run for lieutenant governor, paid a total of $122,195.01 during the second half of 2009 to the Washington office of Bryan Cave LLP, according to the committee's Jan. 20 filing with the State Board of Elections.

One person with knowledge of Steele's political activities said the payments were for an internal audit of Steele's campaign finances, "to make sure that everything was OK."

The Sun account alludes to accusations by Steele's former campaign finance chairman, Alan Fabian (who at the time was seeking a more lenient sentence for an unrelated crime), that Steele's 2006 Senate campaign paid his sister $37,000 for work that was never done. But the article notes that such an expenditure from a state campaign account for a federal matter would present a legal problem. The same would apply to the other known Steele-related controversies with his federal campaign account, including its payments of some $64,000 to a political supporter's firm, Allied Berton.

Steele's federal campaign account from his 2006 Senate run was terminated with zero cash on hand and filed its last report in January 2007, according to records from the Federal Election Commission.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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