New York Rep. Rangel to face trial before House ethics panel
WASHINGTON — A House investigative panel has found “substantial reason to believe” that Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., violated a range of ethics rules.
The finding means that the 80-yearold congressman must face a public trial before the House ethics committee, the first member to be forced to do so since 2002, when former Rep. James Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, was expelled from Congress after taking bribes.
The investigative panel didn’t disclose any details about the possible violations.
But two Democrats with knowledge of the investigation said the committee found evidence to support accusations that Rangel wrongly accepted four rent-stabilized apartments in Manhattan and misused his office to preserve a tax loophole worth half a billion dollars for an oil executive who pledged a donation for an educational center being built in Rangel’s honor.
The committee also found evidence to support a charge that Rangel failed to report or pay taxes on rental income from his beachfront Caribbean villa.
Rangel, who has dismissed the accusations since they were first made in 2008, said Thursday that he looked forward to publicly rebutting them.
Rangel, who in March gave up his powerful post as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in response to a separate ethics issue, has spent nearly $2 million fighting to clear himself in the investigations as he seeks a 21st term this fall.
His office said Thursday there was no possibility he would withdraw from the race or resign. But his mounting problems have become a liability for Democrats as they seek to retain control of the House. Republicans have criticized Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not moving more swiftly and decisively to discipline Rangel.
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has spent nearly $2 million fighting to clear himself in the investigations.