House Panel Charges Rangel with Ethics Misdeeds
Posted Jul 22nd 2010 at 3:26 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) – A House investigative committee on Thursday charged New York Rep. Charles Rangel with multiple ethics violations, dealing a serious blow to the former Ways and Means chairman and complicating Democrats’ election-year outlook.
The panel did not immediately specify the charges against the Democrat, who has served in the House for some 40 years and is fourth in seniority. The charges by a four-member panel of the House ethics committee sends the case to a House trial, where a separate eight-member panel of Republicans and Democrats will decide whether the violations can be proved by clear and convincing evidence.
The timing of the announcement ensures that a public airing of Rangel’s ethical woes will stretch into the fall campaign, and Republicans are certain to make it an issue as they try to capture majority control of the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi had once promised to “drain the swamp” of ethical misdeeds by lawmakers in arguing that Democrats should be in charge.
Responding to the charges, Rangel said in a statement, “I was notified today, two years after I requested an investigation, that the Ethics Committee will refer the allegations reviewed by an investigations subcommittee to a subcommittee that will review the facts. I am pleased that, at long last, sunshine will pierce the cloud of serious allegations that have been raised against me in the media.”
Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said, “The action today would indicate that the independent, bipartisan ethics committee process is moving forward.”
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