Daschle Faces Grilling on Charity Gifts, Apologizes on Taxes

Releases letter of apology to lawmakers for tax mistakes
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 2, 2009 7:33 AM CST
President-elect Barack Obama stands with Health and Human Services Secretary-designate, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008, at a news conference in Chicago.    (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Already beset with questions about his failure to pay taxes, Tom Daschle will likely also face questions today over whether he received improper gifts from charities, the Wall Street Journal reports. President Obama's nominee for health secretary is reported to have flown with an education charity to a Bahamas retreat and later to the Middle East; tax laws ban taking gifts from charities that aren’t directly related to their missions.

This morning Daschle released a letter of apology for his tax lapses, the Washington Post reports. “I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed by the errors that required me to amend my tax returns,” he wrote to members of the Senate Finance Committee. The letter offers an account of how and when he discovered the errors over a 7-month period. The committee will meet today with Daschle.