It’s taken two years of investigations, but the House Committee on Standards of Official Contact has finally charged Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) with multiple ethics violations:
House ethics investigators have accused the once-powerful Rep. Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.) of breaking a series of congressional rules.
Mr. Rangel will have the opportunity to defend himself at a public trial before the House ethics committee beginning next week, according to a statement Thursday from the panel, formally called the House Committee on Standards of Official Contact.
The committee did not detail the charges or its findings. Congressional ethics investigators had been reviewing whether Mr. Rangel failed to disclose $75,000 worth of income he received from a rental property he owns in the Dominican Republic. Mr. Rangel has admitted what he called a mistake on that matter and has paid back taxes.
Lawmakers are required to fill out a financial-disclose statement once a year listing their assets, debts and sources of income. But Mr. Rangel has repeatedly failed to report all of his assets, and he recently filed amended reports that disclosed an additional $500,000 in assets.
Investigators have also been reviewing whether Mr. Rangel used official congressional letterhead for fund-raising letters he sent to corporations and others seeking donations for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York. In addition, investigators were looking at whether Mr. Rangel have violated congressional rules by occupying several rent-stabilized apartments provided by a Manhattan real estate developer. The congressman himself had asked the ethics committee to look into those two matters.
If he’s found guilty of violating House rules Congressman Mr. Rangel could face a variety of penalties including expulsion from Congress. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out… So far Nancy Pelosi’s “most ehtical Congress ever” has had a rather lackluster reputation on ethics. Even if Rep. Rangel, who turned 80 in June, beats the rap I suspect party insiders will be pressuring to step aside lest they hand another talking point to Republicans come November.
James Richardson has more on the Charlie Rangel’s history of ethical lapses over at Red State.
- Congress Ranks Last in Confidence in Institutions – Gallup
- House Democrat calls on Rep. Rangel to resign – The Hill
- Rep. Charles Rangel needs to keep running for office to pay off mounting legal debt – New York Daily News
- Democrats Press Rangel to Settle – Wall Street Journal
- Rangel: Resigning now would be un-American – The Hill
- On your own, Charlie – New York Post
- Rangel says he’s not resigning – Kerry Picket, Washington Times