WASHINGTON (CNN)–A lawyer for Rep. Charlie Rangel, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Monday that the powerful New York Democrat would hire forensic accountants to investigate his financial statements that span two decades.
Lanny Davis said the firm, which has yet to be hired, would review Rangel’s tax returns and other financial documents over the last 20 years and compile a report on any financial improprieties or back taxes the chairman owed. Rangel would pay any back taxes he owed with penalties and would wave the normal three-year statute of limitations, Davis said.
The firm will send its report on Rangel’s finances directly to the House Ethics Committee, which is looking into Rangel’s finances after questions were raised about some real estate transactions. Rangel has admitted he owes $5,000 in back taxes after he failed to report income from a rental property in Florida, according to the Associated Press.
Davis said Rangel said asked for the independent investigation because “he never meant to conceal” his finances.
“He wanted to show in as many ways he has possibly could, that he did not do anything intentionally wrong,” Davis said.
Despite news reports, Rangel was not pressured by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step down from his chairmanship while the investigation into his finances was underway, Davis said.
“Indeed, the speaker told Mr. Rangel that she was pleased that Mr. Rangel had initiated an investigation of himself with full transparency,” Davis said.