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Congress / ETHICS

Rangel Found Guilty

An ethics subcommittee finds Rep. Charles Rangel guilty of 11 of 12 counts.

Rep. Charles Rangel arrives at the ethics committee hearing.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

November 16, 2010

A House subcommittee has found Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., guilty of 11 counts of breaking ethics rules.

Rangel declined to offer a reaction, saying "No, I really haven't studied it."

Asked whether he was hoping the punishment would be limited to a reprimand, he said: "I don't know.”

 

The verdict comes a day after the 80-year-old Harlem lawmaker walked out of the opening of his hearing on the charges, saying he needed more time to hire new lawyers after firing his original legal time.

The ethics subcommittee assigned to hear the case later retired into deliberations and voted on each count, releasing its findings today.

 The findings will now be reported to the full Ethics Committee.

The full committee will then hold a public sanctions hearing and – if any violation is determined – vote on what punishment to recommend to the full House. That could be a reprimand, a censure or, possibly, expulsion.

Republicans used the verdict to attack Nancy Pelosi. “This decision is the nail in the coffin of what Nancy Pelosi promised would be the ‘most ethical congress in history,’ said Ken Spain, NRCC Communications Director. "The arrogance of power that defined the Democrats reign over the House of Representatives was overwhelmingly rejected on November 2, and today’s ruling is further proof that the American people were right.” 

In July, Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, who was on the investigatory subcommittee that initially looked into Rangel’s activities, told reporters that panel had recommended the House censure – but not expel – Rangel.

That would require the proud Harlem Democrat to stand in the well of the House chamber, before his peers, and accept a public reprimand.

 Two-thirds of the House would have to approve any punishment.

The allegations against Rangel ranges from claims he inappropriately solicited donations for a private public service center named after himself at City College of New York, left omissions on his financial disclosure forms, initially mishandling taxes on a Caribbean villa, and allowed his campaign to use a rent-subsidized apartment.

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