Breaking: House committee charges Rangel with multiple ethical violations

posted at 4:54 pm on July 22, 2010 by Allahpundit

Serious business, and another talking point for the GOP ahead of November. Time for Rangel, who turned 80 last month, to decide he wants to spend more time with the grandkids?

Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel, the former chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, committed an undisclosed ethics violation, a House investigatory subcommittee determined Thursday…

The formation of subcommittee, which will consist of four Democrats and four Republicans, is rare. The last time one was convened was in 2002 to handle the case of former Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, who was under investigation in connection with bribery, racketeering and tax evasion convictions…

Rangel, D-N.Y., has been under a lengthy probe by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for a series of ethics allegations that includes failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and assets, improper use of several rent-controlled apartments in his Harlem district, fundraising efforts for a college center that bears his name, and failing to pay taxes on property he owns in the Dominican Republic.

This is five months in the making, starting with his admonishment back in February over staff members having accepted free trips to the Caribbean and culminating a week later in his removal from Ways and Means — albeit supposedly only on a temporary basis. Anyone think he’ll be returning to the committee after this, even if he beats the rap?

The next step is a trial by subcommittee. Given that the most ethical Congress ever had a decidedly lackluster reputation on ethics until now, I wonder how much pressure for and against charging Rangel there is on the Democratic side. On the one hand, this is going to push ethics back on the campaign menu. On the other, if they beat up on Rangel, it makes them look forthright. Stand by for updates.

Update: Eeenteresting…

Rangel told reporters Thursday that he welcomed the opportunity for the charges to be aired in a public forum.

“It may seem a little corny,” he said, “but at long last sunshine has pierced through this cloud that has been over my head for over two years.”…

Sources said the committee and Rangel’s attorney attempted unsuccessfully to negotiate a settlement to end the case.


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