The House ethics committee is likely to exonerate five members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) who were accused of taking an improper trip to the Caribbean, according to sources familiar with the case.
If this is true, we are not surprised. When we provided photographs and audio recordings from the trip at the request of the Committee in May, we made clear that our willingness to do so was not an endorsement of the Ethics Committee process, which has again proven to be a joke.
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.
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.
The House Ethics Committee released a statement today announcing that it is expanding its investigation of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY). Although somewhat vague, the statement makes reference to “all Financial Disclosure Statements and all amendments filed in the calendar year 2009.”
In August, Rangel amended his financial disclosure forms for 2002 to 2006. As a result, Rangel's reported net worth roughly doubled from between $516,015 and $1,316,000 to between $1,028,024 and $2,495,000. Members of Congress are required to disclose their income and assets within certain ranges. The forms are signed under penalty of the False Statements Act.
Submitted by NLPC Staff on Thu, 10/08/2009 - 16:07
October 7, 2009- CNN's Anderson Cooper looks at scandal enveloping House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, including interview with NLPC President Peter Flaherty. Click here for 3-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 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.
Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein report today in the New York Post:
Rep. Charles Rangel reported no rental income for eight years on his rundown Harlem row house, even though public records show tenants were living there.
The powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said he received nothing from 1993 to 2000 on the six-unit building, according to federal financial disclosure forms.
NLPC’s exposure of Rangel’s unreported and undisclosed income from his Dominican Republic “villa,” touched off more intensive scrutiny of Rangel’s finances, leading Rangel to revise his filings last month for 2002 to 2006, showing his net worth to be roughly double what he had claimed in the past.
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.