Charles Rangel charged with ethics violations: How bad for Democrats?
Charles Rangel, a Democratic congressman from New York, faces a House trial in which eight members will rule on the findings. Democrats will be concerned about its effect on midterms.
The subject of an 18-month investigation, Representative Rangel – a 40-year member of Congress and the House’s fourth most-senior member – now faces a House trial in which eight members (four Democrats and four Republicans) will rule on the findings.
The four-member panel of the House ethics committee did not lay out the alleged violations in detail. But they are reported to include at least some of the most serious.
IN PICTURES: Ethically challenged Congressmen
The allegations range from misuse of rent-controlled apartments in New York City and failure to disclose income from a villa in the Dominican Republic to reports that he exchanged official favors – a tax loophole for oil driller Nabors Industries Ltd. – in exchange for a $1 million gift to the Charles Rangel Center at City College of New York.
Last year, Republicans failed to force Rangel to step down as chairman of the influential tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. But when the House ethics panel reported that Rangel had violated House gift rules by accepting corporate funding for trips to the Caribbean, he relinquished his committee chairmanship in March.
Ethics watchdog calls for Rangel's resignation
At the time, Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), an ethics watchdog in Washington, told the Monitor that “trips to the Caribbean are the least of his problems.”
“As we get deeper into election season, support is eroding for Rangel, because members know that ethics matters with voters,” she said.
With the latest turn in Rangel’s fight to avoid further political damage, Ms. Sloan’s organization called for the congressman’s resignation from the House.