Washington Post: A House ethics subcommittee announced Thursday that it found that Rep. Charles B. Rangelviolated congressional ethics rules and that it will prepare for a trial, probably beginning in September. The panel is expected to make the details of his alleged violations public next Thursday.
Rangel (D-N.Y.) has been under the House ethics committee's microscope since early 2008 after it was reported that he may have used his House position to benefit his financial interests. Two of the most serious inquiries have focused on Rangel's failure to declare $239,000 to $831,000 in assets on his disclosure forms, and on his effort to raise money for a private center named after him at City College of New York using his congressional letterhead.
In March, Rangel reluctantly stepped down as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee -- a week after the ethics panel ruled in a separate case that he had broken congressional gift rules by accepting trips to conferences in the Caribbean that were financed by corporate interests. The panel said that, at a minimum, Rangel's staff knew about the corporate backing for the 2007 and 2008 trips -- and that the congressman was therefore responsible.[...]
A judge-like panel will meet next Thursday and read the charges. That will happen just as the House is about to leave Washington for a 6 1/2 -week recess. The full trial is not likely to begin until the week of Sept. 13 -- right before Rangel faces what could be a difficult Sept. 14 primary challenge from New York State Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV. Powell is the son of the late congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (D-N.Y.), who faced his own ethics problems and was bested in 1970 by Rangel in a Democratic primary.
Talk about bad timing. Rangel and the Democrats brought this upon themselves. Rangel’s questionable dealings have been know for quite some time. Rather than to truly address the matter, Democrats arrogantly chose to ignore it. Now the matter is going to have to be dealt with just before midterm elections.
It will be interesting to see how Democrat’s dim 2010 prospects effect the outcome of Rangel. Given that Congress now has an approval rating of 11%, Democrats can go either way on whether Charlie stays or goes. They may dump him to try to improve their image a tiny bit or they may just say all hope is lost so why bother dumping Charlie.
Via: The Washington Post