I have to honest I did not see that coming. After yesterday, when ethics attorneys said (haltingly) there was no evidence of corruption, I thought old Charlie was going to skate. Apparently that isn’t the case.
The Hill: Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), once one of the most powerful members of the House, was convicted Tuesday on 11 counts of violating House ethics rules and now faces punishment.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the adjudicatory subcommittee and the full House ethics committee, announced the decision late Tuesday morning following an abbreviated public trial and nearly six hours of deliberations.
"We have tried to act with fairness, led only by the facts and the law," Lofgren said. "We believe we have accomplished that mission."
The full ethics panel will now convene a sanctions hearing to recommend a punishment, which ethics experts say will most likely be a reprimand or formal censure. The ethics committee Tuesday afternoon had yet to announce when the hearing would occur. […]
The adjudicatory panel, which operated as a jury of his peers, found that Rangel had used House stationary and staff to solicit money for a school of public policy in his name at the City College of New York. It also concluded that he solicited donors for the center with interests before the Ways and Means Committee. Members of Congress are allowed to solicit money for nonprofit entities — even those bearing their names — as long as they do not use congressional letterhead or office resources to do so.
The ethics panel split 4-4 on a charge that Rangel violated the gift ban because the plans for the center included an office and the archiving of his personal and professional papers.
The panel also found Rangel guilty of using an apartment in Harlem zoned for residential use as his campaign office, failing to report more than $600,000 on his financial disclosure report and failing to pay taxes on rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic.
Two counts charging him with improper use of the Congress’s free franking mail privilege were combined into one. [MORE]
Now comes the real test, will the Ethics panel give Charlie a slap on the wrist (a reprimand or censure) or will the kick him the pants with expulsion? It would be so nice to see Charlie chucked out on his can, but I ain’t holding my breath for that one.
Americans are growing so tired of these career politicians who flaunt their own rules and get off Scott free when they do. Rangel is not a newbie, he has been kicking around Congress for 40 years, and there is little excuse for him to plead ignorance of the rules. As chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, is tax evasion is completely hypocritical and certainly should not be excused.
I am anxious to see if Nancy still has an appetite for “draining the swamp”, that is if she ever had an appetite for it at all.
Via: The Hill