A congressional ethics panel found Rep. Charles Rangel guilty Tuesday on 11 counts of violating rules of the House of Representatives and is now weighing how to punish the New York Democrat.
A special eight-member bipartisan panel of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct announced its findings against Rangel after deliberating for hours behind closed doors following a rare trial.
"We have tried to act with fairness, led only by the fact of law," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., the chairman of the full committee. "And I believe we have accomplished that mission."
Rangel, 80, was accused of failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and assets, improper use of several rent-controlled apartments in his district, questionable fundraising efforts for a college center in New York that bears his name, and failing to pay taxes on property he owns in the Dominican Republic.
Rangel, who was elected to a 21st term earlier this month, could face expulsion from the House, censure or a reprimand. Congressional experts say that he'll likely be reprimanded, the mildest form of punishment.
Rangel, the former chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax law, wasn't present when Lofgren read the ethics panel's findings. He refused to participate in the proceedings after it declined his request Monday for a postponement because he didn't have - and couldn't afford - legal representation after already spending $2 million on his defense.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
House panel finds Rangel guilty on 11 ethics charges
He's guilty of course. He'll get a slap on the wrist, and nothing will change. If a Republican had been convicted of these charges, his own party would disown him. The Democrats waited until after the election to hold his trial -- during the lame duck session -- to avoid any serious consequences. Well played, Speaker Pelosi. Next time, Charlie might not be so lucky.http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/16/1928881/house-panel-finds-rangel-guilty.html