New York Times reporters Raymond Hernandez and Jim Rutenberg asserted yesterday:
There seems to be little joy in being Representative Charles B. Rangel these days…as an ethics investigation into his financial dealings continues, Mr. Rangel’s once-considerable clout is diminished and his spirits are often gloomy, friends and associates say, even as he begins to fight back.
Shouldn’t it be taxpayers who are gloomy as long as Rangel remains in office? Each new revelation about Rangel’s finances points to a pattern of corner cutting and corruption that has gone on for decades.
The Washington Postreports today that staff members of the House Ethics Committee met with Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) in July and questioned him about a trip by Rangel and four other members of the Congressional Black Caucus to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. According to the Post:
Rangel said he has not been interviewed by the committee to discuss other elements of the investigation, which involve his personal finances and whether House resources were improperly used to raise funds for a college center named for him.
It was NLPC that exposed both the Caribbean junket and Rangel’s failure to disclose, or pay taxes on, rental income from his Dominican Republic “villa.” While we welcome the investigation of the junket, we believe that tax evasion is a serious matter, and that Rangel should be treated no differently than any other citizen.
According to a confidential House Ethics Committee report produced in July, and described in the Washington Post today:
The Justice Department has told the ethics panel to suspend a probe of Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W. Va.), whose personal finances federal investigators began reviewing in early 2006 after complaints from a conservative group that he was not fully revealing his real estate holdings. There has been no public action on that inquiry for several years. But the department's request in early July to the committee suggests that the case continues to draw the attention of federal investigators, who often ask that the House and Senate ethics panels refrain from taking action against members whom the department is already investigating. (emphasis ours)
Last week, media reports indicated that a vacant lot on Bald Head Island, North Carolina co-owned by Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) and his former aide Laura Kuhns, and their spouses, is going to a foreclosure auction.
The lot was one of five properties co-owned by the Mollohans and Kuhnses that have been part of a controversy that prompted an on-going Justice Department investigation, and Mollohan’s resignation as Ranking Member on the House Ethics Committee in 2006.
Submitted by NLPC Staff on Fri, 10/09/2009 - 09:29
October 8, 2009- CNN's Anderson Cooper reports on the House Ethics Committee expansion of its investigation of House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY). Joining Cooper are CNN Senior Congressional Correspondents Dana Bash and Joe Johns, as well as NLPC President Peter Flaherty. Click here for 4-page pdf transcript.
With the spotlight this week on House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY), we have prepared this timeline of his current problems. Rangel has been involved in so much controversy that it is difficult to keep it all straight. I hope this helps.
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.
In a lengthy story today titled “The case against Charlie Rangel,” New York Post reporters Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein examine “forty years of tax evasion, misdeeds and contempt.” Most interesting is their account of how Rangel tapped into a housing program for poor people to renovate his Harlem brownstone into six units, one of which continued to be his residence.
It’s the same building cited by NLPC in a September 16 Complaint to the Ethics Committee. On his financial disclosure forms, Rangel reported little or no rental income for eight years (1993-2001) from the six units, even though public records show tenants were living there. Click here to download a 35-page pdf of the Complaint
Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) is the subject of a story in The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register newspapers today about the investigation touched off by NLPC.
The immediate reason for revisiting the issue is the naming of Mollohan as one of the 15 most corrupt members of Congress for the fourth year in a row by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
Following a nine-month investigation, NLPC filed a 500-page Complaint on February 28, 2006 with the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia detailing more than 250 misrepresentations and omissions on Mollohan’s disclosure reports, prompting an extensive probe by the FBI.
In a Complaint filed yesterday, NLPC asks the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to expand its ongoing investigation of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) to include apparent violations of House Rules related to his ownership of a Harlem investment property.
Again, it appears Rangel has failed to disclose income from a rental property.
In an editorial today titled "Sorry Charlie," the Washington Post called on Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) to step down as House Ways and Means Chairman. The editorial comes in the wake of Rangel amending his financial disclosure forms for the years 2002 to 2006, showing that his net worth was roughly double what he previously claimed. The Post called Rangel’s revised filings “a treasure trove of outrage.”
Rangel’s amendments were prompted by increased scrutiny of his finances after NLPC exposed his failure to disclose (or pay taxes on) rental income from his beachfront “villa” at the Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic.