House details 13 violations against Rep. Charles Rangel
The 13 charges against Rep. Charles Rangel include allegedly failing to report $600,000 in income and improper fundraising for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service.
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But public interest groups describe the charges presented by the ethics subcommittee as a significant challenge to Rangel, who, if not cleared of all charges, now faces the prospect of reprimand, censure, or expulsion from the House after the trial.Skip to next paragraph
“These charges are very serious, especially those dealing with the Rangel Center,” says Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), one of the first groups to call for an investigation of Rangel.
“In the list of all of the donors that [Rangel] approached. It didn’t reach a conclusion as to whether he gave them a tax break in return for a contribution to the Rangel Center. I would have expected to see more about that. I would expect to hear a great deal more about that at the trial,” she added.
In a statement responding to the alleged violations, Rangel said, through his lawyers, he did not “dispense any political favors [or] intentionally violate any law, rule or regulation, and that he did not misuse his public office for private gain.”
While talks are expected be ongoing between the ethics panel and Rangel’s attorneys, public interest groups say that it’s not clear how Rangel could at this point avoid a trial, except by resigning from the House and moving beyond the control of the ethics panel.
Republicans on the panel are urging moving forward on a trial regardless of ongoing talks. In his opening statement at today’s hearing, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the subcommittee, said that the time to negotiate a deal with Rangel had passed. "Mr. Rangel . . . was given opportunities to negotiate a settlement under the investigation phase," he said. "We are now in the trial phase."
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