Rangel Busted?

It was...ummm...Turbo Tax...yeah that's it. It worked for Geitner!

According to the New York Times (don’t blame me if this turns into another Sherrodgate) Charlie Rangel may have some problems to deal with in the very near future. You remember him don’t you? He’s the guy that conveniently get some sweet deals and conveniently forgets to declare income from renting out his vacation villa along with a host of other allegations.

After a nearly two-year investigation, a House investigative panel has found that Representative Charles B. Rangelprobably violated a range of ethics rules, dealing a serious blow to Mr. Rangel, a Harlem Democrat, in the twilight of his political career.

The investigative subcommittee did not disclose any details about the nature of the violations that it found evidence, but one House official who has been briefed on the findings said that they included some of the most serious allegations that had been examined.

“All I know is that it was a majority of them,” the House official said, asking not to be identified as the ruling is supposed to remain confidential for one week.A lawyer involved in Mr. Rangel’s defense, who also asked not to be named, disputed that characterization, adding that the case is not over yet

Amazing they take two  years to do this investigation (hell I almost forgot about it myself), then they give the guy a week before they announce what ethics he’s violated so he gets plenty of time to come up with some good old American BS to try to minimize the impact upon him and his carrier.

To refresh everyone’s mind here’s a synopsis of what those alleged ethics violations entail.

  • rented 4 rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem at well below market rate. (The rent reduction qualifies as a “gift” and they’re not supposed to get any “gifts” worth more than $50.
  • provided legislative “favors” for an oil company who pledged $1 million towards an academic center that will bear his name (a tax loophole that saved the oil company more than $500 million bucks.
  • failed to report taxable rental income on a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic.

According to the NYT

The case could end with a simple admonishment of Mr. Rangel, which is the most common action by the Standards Committee, or a more serious action, including even his expulsion from the House.

I’ll be taken aback if he gets anything more than an admonishment.  This is a Democratic Congress who will probably give him the old CYA treatment. Why? Well, it seems this isn’t the only time old Charlie has been in trouble over ethics violations.

Already this year, Mr. Rangel had been admonished by the Standards Committee on a separate matter involving trips he and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus took to the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008 that were indirectly paid for by corporate sponsors such as Pfizer, Verizon and AT&T, in violation of House rules.

See what I mean? He got off easy on that one, so I don’t expect anything different this time around. We’ll know next week. It will be interesting to see if AG Eric Holder does any investigation of this, too.  I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Makes me wonder what kind of Insane Minds keep voting a guy like this in.

Source: New York Times


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