Congressman Rangel, spare yourself further embarrassment

The charges against Charlie Rangel are now official. Yesterday, the House Ethics Committee laid out a string of embarrassing charges that show Rangel took advantage of his post to build monuments to himself, flouted the most obvious standards of propriety and ignored basic rules of ethics in strong-arming interests who came before his committee. From the NYT:

Ethics committee members appeared somber on Thursday, expressing fondness for Mr. Rangel even as they issued the stinging report, which states that Mr. Rangel’s “actions reflected poorly on the institution of the House and, thereby, brought discredit to the House.”

Mr. Rangel did not appear at the meeting on Thursday, but issued a written response denying “each and every allegation” and criticizing the committee’s report as “deeply flawed in its factual premises and legal theories.”

In the 40-page report, the committee said it substantiated the major charges that had been hanging over Mr. Rangel for two years: that he improperly used his office to solicit donations for a school to be named in his honor; failed to pay taxes on and report rental income from his Dominican villa; filed incomplete financial disclosure forms; and improperly accepted from a Manhattan developer rent-stabilized apartments, one of which he used as a campaign office.

But while those alleged infractions had been widely reported, the committee unearthed new details about Mr. Rangel’s conduct. The committee said Mr. Rangel not only reached out to corporate executives seeking contributions to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College, but he also personally sought donations from registered lobbyists whose corporations had business before Congress. In some cases, Mr. Rangel asked for contributions of as much as $30 million from businesses with issues before the Ways and Means Committee, of which he was the chairman until March.

Rangel brought this on himself, but his case is nevertheless a very sad one. He’s a genuine American hero, an ex-GI who showed real bravery in the Korean War. It’s tragic — worthy of Shakespeare — that he stayed in office so long that he came to think of himself as above the rules of conduct.
It’s past time for Charlie to resign.

204 comments Add your comment

Jethro

July 30th, 2010
7:32 am

Road Scholar

July 30th, 2010
7:36 am

All right Mr Rangel, where are your receipts, checks, etc showing you paid your rent, and taxes. If you cannot produce them today, you are not only a shakedown artist, but also a liar. Stand at the podium, show us the proof and immediately turn itover to the Congress. If not, resign. You knew this was coming so “I’m searching my records” is not a defense, nor is it acceptible.

Boy that was easy,eh? Now move on to deal with Deal ( I know he resigned, but this should be finalized and not dropped. What if he runs for Congress again?). What do they have that indicates his innocence or guilt. Cripes, why does it take so long to review these issues?

Granny Godzilla

July 30th, 2010
7:36 am

Resign Mr. Rangel.

southerngal

July 30th, 2010
7:36 am

Why should he just resign? Is he not entitled to his “day in court”?

HDB

July 30th, 2010
7:47 am

Let the process take its course; everyone has the right to defend himself…even Congressmen. There is a presumption of innocence that everyone wants to ignore!! That’s part of the problem here!!

Peadawg

July 30th, 2010
7:58 am

“Congressman Rangel, spare yourself further embarrassment”

Same could be said about you Cynthia.

MiltonMan

July 30th, 2010
7:58 am

Maybe the scumbag will get invited to Chelesa’s wedding where he can ask for money to defend himself.

MiltonMan

July 30th, 2010
8:01 am

Did Obama mention this when he was on the View the other day? Let’s see the Clown-in-Chief skips addressing the Boy Scout Jamboree & is not invited to “the wedding”. His only fans left are the ajc, Granny Gorilla, & USinUK.

Moderate Line

July 30th, 2010
8:05 am

Rangel brought this on himself, but his case is nevertheless a very sad one. He’s a genuine American hero, an ex-GI who showed real bravery in the Korean War. It’s tragic — worthy of Shakespeare — that he stayed in office so long that he came to think of himself as above the rules of conduct.
++++++++++++++
Unfortunately, this happens to often. Many go to Washington to change the system but the system changes them.

Reminds me of the book “All the King Men”

andygrd

July 30th, 2010
8:18 am

Ms. Tucker, nice commentary this morning.

Don't forget

July 30th, 2010
8:20 am

Sorry Charlie but you’ve got to go.

Good Grief

July 30th, 2010
8:21 am

Well, CT, I think this is something we finally both agree on. No member of Congress, be they Democrat, Republican, Left-wing, Right-wing, or whatever hockey position they play, should think themself above the law.

Mike

July 30th, 2010
8:22 am

I’m surprised Ms. Tucker would take this position.

Bill Hartzell

July 30th, 2010
8:24 am

Ho hum- politics as usual……………….

Yeah, OK

July 30th, 2010
8:24 am

Cynthia,

I have to, GULP, agree with you. I think this may be the only time this has ever happened. This is actually quite an unbiased commentary. I would have expected no comment from you on this situation, but I was wrong. Thank you.

Aquagirl

July 30th, 2010
8:25 am

Resign? He should be in jail.

Those expressing surprise over CT’s opinion are saying much more about themselves than they are about Cynthia Tucker.

Chuckie D

July 30th, 2010
8:26 am

Ms. Tucker:

I suppose Mr. Rangel could resign and as is typical with the politicos, all is forgotten and forgiven??? Let’s see that happening in the private sector—would a company not continue with a prosecution because a crime had been committed? This case is even worse considering “Beach Boy Charlie” as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is responsible for writing the tax codes! He and Timothy Tax Cheat and the other cheaters in the Obama Administration should be leaving together—

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

July 30th, 2010
8:28 am

Sounds as if he will try to rangel his way out of this.

Expect Better

July 30th, 2010
8:36 am

I love the apologists for this crook: “let’s hold off drawing any conclusions until we see some real evidence!”

You cowards. See what is right in front of you.

Rangel cheated on his taxes, took money in reward for favors, disgraced himself and his high office. Those aren’t wild allegations backed up by a bunch of “maybes.” This stuff actually happened. Serving your country long ago, while admirable, does not confer on you a license to betray your oath and your constituents later. If he doesn’t resign, expel him.

Naturalized Georgian

July 30th, 2010
8:37 am

I read last night that the man is a TWENTY term Congressman. Of course Washington changed him. What is it going to take before this country wakes up and demands term limits for Senators and Congressmen?

As for Rangel (and Deal…), resignation should not end the ethics investigation and if warranted, prosecution.

Thats my gub'ment name

July 30th, 2010
8:37 am

Aquagirl

July 30th, 2010
8:37 am

When folks pop in with an error-filled diatribe on past columns, I always wonder why. Did they finally reach the bail bondsman? Sober up enough to turn on the computer?

Inquiring minds want to know.

david wayne osedach

July 30th, 2010
8:39 am

Resign in disgrace or be thrown out!

The Aristocrat

July 30th, 2010
8:40 am

Forget resignation, that will be a byproduct of his incarceration for failing to pay income taxes.

Mark

July 30th, 2010
8:41 am

Sorry ,”real American heroes” do not steal from their own government. He should spend the rest of his miserable existence behind bars where he belongs.

the comedy club

July 30th, 2010
8:42 am

Rangle was a “hero” but McCain isn’t? Imagine that.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

July 30th, 2010
8:42 am

I agree with you CT, now if we could just get Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Frank, Rahm, Barry, and the rest of the socialists to leave, we could get back to being America again. (instead of France lite)

teeth

July 30th, 2010
8:43 am

Rangle, along with every criminal on the Obama administration should be fired immediately. This is the most corrupt administration in this nation’s history, which is why we are quickly becoming a modern day Nazi Germany.

straitroad

July 30th, 2010
8:46 am

While I don’t agree with Mr. Rangel’s politics, we were founded as a nation based on the rule of law and Mr. Rangel has the right to be judged by his peers. He is, however, the poster child for term limits.

OH CYNTHIA!!!!

July 30th, 2010
8:47 am

Still hiding from the now 2 week old story about how Obama’s own DOJ could not find a SINGLE SHRED OF ILLEGAL EVIDENCE against the Bush DOJ and Roberto Gonzalez’s firing of 8 radical kook judges? A mere fraction of a number compared to the amount Clinton fired.

Why the silence CT? Afterall, you demanded Gonzalez be fired. The world awaits!!!

Dirty Dawg

July 30th, 2010
8:49 am

Hey ‘teeth’…are you that stupid, or do you just think we are?

The "M" word

July 30th, 2010
8:49 am

Mrs. Tucker,

May we now be allowed to call you a mongrel (aka ‘dog’) since the Messiah himself called you one yesterday on The View?

Any thoughts on the barbaric mongrel that brutally attacked a white male in Florida for listening to rap? This little thug is only 14 years old. What is wrong with the mongrel youth of today?

aps

July 30th, 2010
8:50 am

Cynthia. Are you able to write anything by yourself? Or do you ALWAYS need the New York Times as a base for your talking points.

ctucker

July 30th, 2010
8:50 am

the comedy club, I have referred to McCain’s heroism many times. What are you talking about?

ctucker

July 30th, 2010
8:50 am

Mark, What did Rangel steal?

Keep up the good fight!

July 30th, 2010
8:50 am

Pea…the same could be said about you! Daily you come here to berate Ms. Tucker, but you read her pieces. A strange attraction indeed.

Winger

July 30th, 2010
8:52 am

Duke Cunningham was a Vietnam War hero. He’s now in jail for similar crimes. Maybe he and Charlie can be roomies.

jimnalph

July 30th, 2010
8:53 am

Wow, only the second time I agree with you. You must have had a brain fart! But I’m glad, maybe one day you’ll come around. Maybe next year when you see your taxes go way up to pay for ObamaCare.

Things that make you go hmmm.....

July 30th, 2010
8:53 am

Spare himself further embarrassment or spare the dems further embarrassment in an election year?

Mike

July 30th, 2010
8:56 am

Good column, Cynthia. He just needs to go away.

Horny 24:7

July 30th, 2010
8:58 am

Cynthia:

For the first time in my life, I agree with you. He should resign. He should also be brought to trial, and go to jail.

I wonder if he will be at Chelsea’s wedding this weekend with all the other crooks?

Keep up the good fight!

July 30th, 2010
8:58 am

Oh! now really let’s have the truth. Here is what was stated in a letter to Congress

“Evidence did not demonstrate that any prosecutable criminal offense was committed with regard to the removal of David Iglesias,” the Justice Department said in a letter to lawmakers Wednesday. “The investigative team also determined that the evidence did not warrant expanding the scope of the investigation beyond the removal of Iglesias.”

Prosecutors also said there was insufficient evidence to charge someone with lying to Congress or investigators.

Of course they were not “8 kook judges” as you claim. They were 9 US Attorneys and the actions were determine inappropriate.

Kook….(to borrow a phrase)..NOW there’s YOUR sign!

John

July 30th, 2010
9:02 am

Another day, another politician…

Jaye

July 30th, 2010
9:05 am

Agree with you – but sadly. How do people who have worked so hard to gain power become so insulated from the reality that they’re not demi-gods – or even close? Males in power appear especially prone to looking in the mirror and seeing a reflection that is much greater than the actual human being. And they seem more likely to act upon this enhanced reflection. Rangel is just another of these. (There’s a thoughtful article in this month’s Atlantic called “The End of Men.” Good read!)

Aquagirl

July 30th, 2010
9:06 am

I wonder if he’ll endorse Nathan Deal? Bipartisanship warms my heart.

Congress needs age limits. Yeah, some 80-year olds are still up to it, but I think they’re few and far between. The structure which allows 30+ year placeholders to amass should go too. There’s something to be said for seniority. That doesn’t mean we should encourage senility in our Representatives.

Tundra Dude

July 30th, 2010
9:08 am

Someone really Big will have to ask him to resign.

I think the news media is out to get him…..he just made a few mistakes…

Rep. Rangel Failed to Report $75,000 in Income New York Times, 9/5

Rep. Rangel Failed to Report $660K in Assets in ‘07 Politico, 8/26

Rangel Failed to Report Profit on Condo Sale Roll Call, 9/15

Rangel Steered Campaign Cash to Son’s Business Politico, 12/5

Rep. Rangel Pays Law Firm With Campaign Funds New York Post, 11/3

Report: Rangel’s Financial Disclosures Omitted Data Over 30 Yrs New York Times, 2/5

Panel Admonishes Rangel for Taking Trips as Gifts New York Times, 2/26

Rangel Pays Parking Tickets With Campaign Funds CQ Politics, 12/30

Rep. Rangel Reaped DC Home Perk While Renting in NYC New York Post, 11/24

WAR

July 30th, 2010
9:09 am

CT
i love it when you write excellent articles like this! and it’s not because i agree with you. simply, rangel should quit while he’s ahead. he would not do well in prison. just saying.

WAR

July 30th, 2010
9:11 am

for anyone who says this is the most “corrupt” or “evil” or “anti-business” or “anti-American” administration ever obviously don’t remember other administrations or American history. please read something that has a cover and pages from a credible author. please.

uhoh

July 30th, 2010
9:11 am

See ya Chah-lie. Poster boy for terms limits.

kayaker 71

July 30th, 2010
9:13 am

Let’s hope that Rangle doesn’t resign right away and that his ethics proceedings last well into October. Sort of hoping that the Blago trial would force Bozo and his gang to testify. Rangle would have not even been brought into an ethics inquiry if his crimes were not so blatant that the Demos were forced to do something, even in an election year, where these things are usually not touched. They protect their own, especially someone who helped found the Congressional Black Caucus. This august organization has been rather mute about old Charlie…. they wouldn’t criticize Charlie even if he was an ax murderer. You never want to criticize one of your own, even if he is a crook. Same thing with Cold Cash Jefferson and that space cadet McKinney.
Charlie helps write the tax code, then is no doubt guilty of income tax violations. And Congress has an approval rating of, what, around 11%. Go figure.