Obama Team Stands By Geithner Despite 'Mistakes'

President-elect Obama's transition team defended Treasury secretary nominee Timothy Geithner on Tuesday as he faces questions about his failure to pay taxes and his former housekeeper who lacked immigration papers.

Obama's press secretary Robert Gibbs said that Geithner, the former chairman of the New York Federal Reserve, is the "right person" to lead the economic recovery and said his service "should not be tarnished by honest mistakes." Gibbs also noted that Geithner "quickly addressed" his mistakes.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) plans to ask Geithner during his confirmation hearing about his employment of a housekeeper whose immigration papers had expired, The Wall Street Journal reported. Grassley also plans to ask why Geithner didn't pay Social Security and Medicare taxes from 2001 to 2004, when he worked for the International Monetary fund. Geithner considered himself self-employed at the time and has since paid what he owed, the Journal reported.

Read Gibbs's full statement below:

"The President-elect chose Tim Geithner to be his Treasury Secretary because he's the right person to help lead our economic recovery during these challenging times. He's dedicated his career to our country and served with honor, intelligence and distinction. That service should not be tarnished by honest mistakes, which, upon learning of them, he quickly addressed. He made a common mistake on his taxes, and was unaware that his part-time housekeeper's work authorization expired for the last three months of her employment. We hope that the Senate will confirm him with strong bipartisan support so that he can begin the important work of the country."