GOP request for Hagel financials rejected

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee says Republican demands for more financial information from Chuck Hagel is beyond the scope of what's been asked of previous defense secretary nominees, and he intends to press ahead with a vote.

In letter Friday, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan responded to 26 Senate Republicans who have pressed President Barack Obama's pick for details on his paid speeches and foreign donors to the non-profit organizations he's been affiliated with, such as the Atlantic Council. Some Republicans specifically
wanted information about the Atlantic Council's donations from a Lebanese businessman and the oil-rich former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.

Levin said the GOP was insisting on financial disclosure requirements that far exceed the standards of the panel and what's been required of numerous Pentagon chiefs, from Republicans Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld to Democrat Leon Panetta.

Levin said the panel will vote as soon as possible.

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