A House committee investigating Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) has charged the powerful former Ways and Means Committee Chairman with multiple ethics violations, says MSNBC. Rangel was removed as Ways and Means Chairman in March when another investigation determined he should have known corporate money was paying for his Caribbean vacations.
The investigative committee did not announce the charges against the 40 year veteran of the House. It is known, however, the committee was investigating these charges against Rangel:
•His use of official stationery to raise money for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York.Today's announcement guarantees the investigation will continue well into the November election season creating another major campaign problem for Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who promise two years ago this would be the most transparent and ethical administration in history. For Republicans (mixed metaphor alert), this is a big fat juicy high value card in a high stakes game of hardball politics.
•Whether he had the Ways and Means Committee consider legislation that would benefit donors to the Rangel Center at the same time the congressman solicited donations or pledges.
•Preserved a tax shelter for an oil drilling company, Nabors Industries, which has a chief executive who donated money to the center while Rangel's committee considered the loophole legislation.
•Used four rent-controlled apartment units in New York City, when the city's rent stabilization program is supposed to apply to one's primary residence. This raises the question of how all the units could be primary residences. One was a campaign office, raising the separate question of whether the rent break was an improper gift.
•Whether Rangel, as required, publicly reported information on the financing and rental of his ownership interest in a unit within the Punta Cana Yacht Club in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Rangel also had to pay back taxes on the rental income.
•Intentionally failed to report — when required — hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in assets. The amended disclosure reports added a credit union IRA, mutual fund accounts and stock.
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