The start of the Rangel scandals can be pegged to David Kocieniewski’s New York Times story in July 2008. His article prompted us to begin our review of Rangel’s finances, resulting in our exposé of Rangel’s tax evasion and his acceptance of corporate-funded junkets.
It should be noted, however, that New York Post reporter Geoff Earle wrote a year earlier about Rangel’s solicitation of corporate money for the Rangel Center.
July 23, 2007- Geoff Earle of the New York Post reports that Rangel is soliciting funds for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service from corporations that have interests before Congress, and that Rangel secured a $2 million “seed money” earmark from Congress.
July 11, 2008– New York Times’ David Kocieniewski reports that Rangel occupies three rent-stabilized apartments in a luxury building, and uses a fourth as a campaign office.
July 14, 2008– NLPC files Complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging use of a rent-stabilized apartment for a campaign office comprises an illegal corporate contribution from the landlord. Rangel announces he will close the office.
July 15, 2008– Christopher Lee of the Washington Post reports that Rangel solicited donations on Congressional letterhead to the so-called Charles B. Rangel School of Public Service at City College of New York (CCNY), in violation of House rules.
August 2008– NLPC staff reviews Rangel’s financial disclosure forms and notices that he has a home in the Dominican Republic, but reports little or no rent. NLPC sends an investigator to Dominican Republic who finds that the beachfront “villa” is continuously rented out.
August 31, 2008– New York Post runs front-page story by Isabel Vincent and Susan Edelman with an unflattering photo of Rangel in beach chair, following Vincent’s trip to Dominican Republic.
September 5, 2008– Rangel admits to not disclosing, or paying taxes on, rental income of $75,000. He also claims that he did not know that he had a no-interest mortgage. Rangel blames his wife and a language barrier. NLPC files Complaints with the IRS and U.S. Attorney alleging Rangel’s $75,000 figure is low.
September 24, 2008– At Rangel’s request, House Ethics Committee votes to investigate rent-stabilized apartments; using Congressional stationery to solicit donations for Rangel School; and failing to disclose or report Dominican Republic rental income. Pelosi predicts the probe will conclude by January 3, 2009.
November 6-9, 2008– Rangel leads Citigroup-funded Congressional junket to Caribbean island of St. Maarten. NLPC President Peter Flaherty attends and documents violations of House Rules, leading to New York Post feature story.
November 24, 2008– New York Times’ David Kocieniewski reports that Rangel helped preserve a lucrative tax break for Nabors Industries at the same time Nabors’ CEO Eugene Isenberg pledged $1 million to the Rangel School at CCNY.
November 26, 2008– NLPC files a Complaint with the House Ethics Committee alleging that Rangel violated House Rules by cheating on his taxes by improperly claiming a homestead exemption on a D. C. property.
December 9, 2008– House Ethics Committee expands investigation to include Rangels’ efforts to preserve a tax break for Nabors Industries at the same time Nabors’ CEO Eugene Isenberg pledged $1 million to the Rangel School.
January 28, 2009– Rep. John Carter (R-TX) introduces “Rangel Rule” bill to eliminate all IRS penalties and interest for paying taxes past due.
February 1, 2009– on CSPAN Newsmakers program Rangel predicts that “as soon as the Ethics Committee organizes they ought to be able to dismiss this.” Rangel also accuses journalists as being “an arm of this organization (NLPC).” In a letter to supporters, Rangel says reporters do NLPC’s “dirty work.”
February 4, 2009– Sunlight Foundation issues report showing Rangel failed to report purchases, sales or his ownership of assets at least 28 times since 1978 on his personal financial disclosure forms. Assets worth between $239,026 and $831,000 appeared and disappeared with no disclosure of when they were acquired, how long they were held, or when they were sold, as House Rules require.
May 22, 2009– House Ethics Committee asks NLPC President Peter Flaherty to provide photographs, recordings and other materials from the St. Maartens junket.
May 29, 2009– About the Ethics Committee probe, Rangel tells Dow Jones Newswires, “I am optimistic that this very soon will be wrapped up.”
June 2, 2009– NLPC President Peter Flaherty directly confronts Nabors Industries CEO Eugene Isenberg at the Nabors’ annual meeting in Houston. Isenberg denies a “quid pro quo” and claims the New York Times is “full of malarkey.”
June 24, 2009– House Ethics Committee confirms probe of Caribbean junkets in 2008 and 2007. Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) objects to investigation. CBC member Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) is appointed to head probe. Butterfield took part in the trip in previous year.
August 12, 2009– Rangel files amended financial disclosure forms for 2002 to 2006. As a result, his reported net worth roughly doubled. The originals were signed under penalty of the False Statements Act.
September 16, 2009– NLPC files Complaint with the House Ethics Committee alleging that Rangel disclosed little or no rental income for eight years (1993-2001) on a six-unit Harlem brownstone, even though public records show tenants were living there.
October 8, 2009– The House Ethics Committee announces that it is expanding Rangel investigation into “all Financial Disclosure Statements and all amendments filed in the calendar year 2009.”
February 26, 2010- The House Ethics Committee “admonishes” Rangel for accepting Caribbean trips based on photographs, recordings and other materials provided by NLPC. The Committee clears five other members of Congress. Rangel claims that he didn’t know the trips were corporate sponsored. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defends Rangel and asserts that he “did not violate the rules of the House.”
February 26, 2010- The Committee also found that the organizers of the trips, a couple named Karl and Faye Rodney, who operate Carib News or Carib News Foundation, submitted “false or misleading” information to the Committee under oath. The matter was referred to the Justice Department.
March 3, 2010- Rangel steps down as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, claiming the move is temporary.
July 22, 2010- Ethics Committee announces that its subcommittee investigating Rangel alleges House Rules violations, and that they will be made public on July 29. The matter is referred to an “adjudicatory subcommittee” to try Rangel and determine guilt.
July 29, 2010– House Ethics Committee charges Rangel with violating House rules on 13 counts.
July 30, 2010– President Obama calls the charges “very troubling” and says that Rangel should “end his career with dignity.”
August 9, 2010– NLPC files a formal Complaint with the House Ethics Committee against Rangel alleging a pattern of corruption and cronyism at Alianza Dominicana, a New York group to which Rangel has direct millions in earmarks.
August 10, 2010– Rangel makes speech on the House floor daring his colleagues to expel him. He attacks NLPC and claimed, “And they followed me on vacation. They followed me when I was doing business. They’re at the airport. They’re outside where I live. It’s kind of rough
August 15, 2010– The New York Post reports that New York City cut off funding for Alianza Dominicana, a nonprofit group for which Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) secured a $2.6 million federal earmark in June. In addition, the group is the subject of a probe by the Department of Investigation (DOI), the City’s version of the FBI.
August 24, 2010– David Kocieniewski reports in the New York Times that former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau owned stock in Nabors Industries at the time he introduced the company’s CEO Eugene Isenberg to Rangel.
August 23, 2010– Rangel responds to President Obama’s recommendation that Rangel “should end his career with dignity.” Rangel said, “Frankly, he has not been around long enough to determine what my dignity is.”
September 14, 2010– Rangel wins Democratic primary with 50% of the vote against five challengers.
September 28, 2010– Ranking member Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL) and all other Republicans on the Ethics Committee accuse Ethics Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren of “stalling” the Rangel investigation.
October 7, 2010– House Ethics Committee announces that it will delay ethics trials of Reps. Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters until after the election.
November 2, 2010– Rangel re-elected.
November 15, 2010– Ethics Committee commences Rangel trial. Rangel walks out after maintaining that he is entitled to counsel. The Committee proceeds anyway.
November 16, 2010– Rangel is convicted on 11 counts by adjudacatory subcommittee.
This is an updated version of a timeline published on July 26, 2010. No doubt, it will not be the last.
Flaherty: Rangel Had to Know of Junket’s Corporate Sponsorship (Fox News Channel video)
Flaherty: Rangel Dirty Even After Coming Clean (CNN/Anderson Cooper video)
Flaherty: Rangel is ‘Serial Offender’ (CNN/Anderson Cooper video)