October 8th, 2009
05:06 PM ET
5 years ago

House Ethics Committee expands Rangel investigation

House Ethics Committee expands Rangel investigation.
House Ethics Committee expands Rangel investigation.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The House Ethics Committee voted unanimously Thursday to expand its investigation of Rep. Charlie Rangel, one of the most powerful members of Congress.

The committee is now looking into Rangel's alleged failure to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of assets on mandatory congressional financial disclosure forms.

The prominent Democrat, whose district includes the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, has been under investigation for a year over several issues relating to financial impropriety. He has admitted to failing to pay taxes on $75,000 in income from a rental property he owns in the Dominican Republic.

Rangel heads the influential Ways and Means Committee - the lead body for writing tax law in the House of Representatives. He has said he is the victim of a smear campaign by some in the media.


"As a practical matter, today's announcement is nothing new," said a statement issued by Emile Milne, Rangel's personal spokesman. "Today's action by the committee is a technicality, as everything they referenced in today's announcement has already been subject to ongoing review by the ethics committee and its staff.

"It is clear that the committee is being very thorough and deliberative in their process, hence today's announcement."

On Wednesday, House Democrats defeated a resolution that would have forced Rangel to step down from his chairmanship for the duration of the investigation.

The resolution lost in a mostly party-line 246-153 vote.

House Minority Leader John Boehner issued a statement Thursday urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to force Rangel to step down.

"The American people won't stand for having a chairman of the House's tax-writing committee who is under investigation for not paying his taxes. What more has to happen before Speaker Pelosi does the right thing?"

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer refused to say if Rangel should step down. He told CNN the Ethics Committee needs time to do what "they ought to do. I don't think we ought to draw conclusions from that because they're doing an investigation."

–CNN's Brianna Keilar and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report


Filed under: Charlie Rangel • Democrats
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Jay T.

    Absolutely. And, while we are at it, let's not let that slimeball Ensign skirt all responsibility like he is trying so desperately to do. Agreed?

    October 8, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. No More Incumbents

    Foxes guarding the chicken coop. What a bunch of ignoranuses.

    October 8, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. Unbelievable

    This guy is an embarrassment to both our government and country. Him and Bernie Frank should both go live together on some island.

    October 8, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. File under "Sarcasm"

    Just because you're a tax cheat doesn't mean you can't lead the committee that writes the tax laws. The important people are the staffers who actually write the bills. The Congressmen don't read them before they vote because they know they can't understand them. All they have to do is check the latest polls and listen to Nancy, Harry and Barack. (I didn't mean that to sound like the Three Stooges but....)

    October 8, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. Kathy

    Victim???? Is he serious? Kick him out!! Kick them all out, including the clown in the WH.

    October 8, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Dan

    He's dirty..............

    October 8, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. LacrosseMom

    That's fine, IF Rangel is guilty of wrongdoing then he should resign.

    I am a Democrat, and believe that everyone should be held accountable if they violate American laws.

    WHAT about BUSH & DICK? When will these two torturers be indicted?

    October 8, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. rachel

    It's real funny rangel, selibus, Geithner, etc our lovely cabinet and congress have no problem taxing the rich or the middle class to pay for healthcare. How about they just pay their fair share of taxes and maybe we could cover everybody.

    October 8, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. GuyInVA

    "We will expand this investigation in order to rationalize and forgive other illegal activities by Congressman Rangle, besides the tax fraud. Someone get Senator Ensign for me. REAL Americans don't care about the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee not paying his taxes. They want to hear with whom Senator Ensign has been sleeping."

    October 8, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. Idiot_Pelosi

    CROOK!!!!

    Some integrity and transparency imposed by Idiot PELOSI.

    October 8, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    I'm a liberal democrat. Laws and rules don't apply to me........just to conservatives and to the ignorant peasants that keep voting me into office.

    October 8, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  12. bess

    and people wonder why the congress' public approval rate is at 21%.

    it definately should be lower.

    Re-Elect No One.

    October 8, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Michael P

    How can you take this article seriously when the headline and picture caption spell his name "Rangle" ??? Yikes, CNN

    October 8, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Independant Vet

    SHHHhh , Pelosi and Barrack don't like to hear the Chains rattle. For they the Democrat's are so pure and honest . Especially when it comes to Dollars. Shhhh they just made themselves a 8% pay raise. So pass the collection plate , pay his back taxes , and let the guy that is unemployed divie up for the Rangle house hold.

    Yes Barrack can say he Inherited Rangle . An more Foxes in the coop . Put the pressure on him , an see him cry , like the other Casturated bull Dogs. UHH HUHH

    October 8, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Hey BIG Spender

    So many cheats, too few indictments.

    October 8, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    The Next Time a Democrat uses the quote "Rule of Law" call them a liar as their actions to protect Charlie Rangel the Tax Cheat and their vote on allowing funding to cities who obviously break Federal Law by being sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants shows their true colors for their disregard for the "Rule of Law"!!!! Charlie Rngel needs to be in the cell next to Bernie Maddoff and the New Orleans Congressman with the frozen bribe money!

    October 8, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. victim of republican greed

    The ethics committee also needs to investigate all the republican congressmen who went to Honduras to visit with the leaders of a military coup. It seems that they do not understand is that you do not go to a foreign country and suck up to those who overthrew the elected leader in a democracy.

    Once again, look at the Logan Act.

    October 8, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Laura in KS

    All the major news networks are guilty of this: the "news" they give us is NOT the facts–it is various people's OPINIONS on certain issues. CNN, you have your "panels" to discuss issues, but where are the facts? Why does no one give us straight facts anymore? Oh, that's right–it's all about the ratings. The News Industry is in the pockets of corporations, just like the politicians.

    October 8, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    An honorable man would resign, but we will never see this from this has-been politician from a dark era in American history.

    October 8, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Laura in KS

    Careful everybody–your hypocrisy is showing!

    Both sides need to grow up and quit acting like the other side is so wicked and doesn't care about America. This is getting seriously ridiculous.

    October 8, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. veteran

    Go get him ! These people have been taking advantage of the taxpayers and the system for years!

    October 8, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. Randy

    Any government official, elected or not, who willing violates the law should face SERIOUS jail time, and be excluded from ever holding any governmental job again (elected or otherwise).

    And whats with democrats trying to turn this into a Bush thing? Its not about Bush!

    And Republicans, your party members are just as corrupt, so dont call this a democrat problem.

    I am so sick of people whining about politicians, and then not doing anything to stop the corrupt ones or even defendnging them after they are caught.

    October 8, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. Hardwood

    It amazes me that in Congress the low life can actually attain levels of power and prestige. This guy admitted to fraud. He should not only resign his committee role, he should resign from the House and promise to never enter public life again. Of course, though, Congress will protect its own, slap his wrist and return him, without penalty, to full power. Amazing....

    October 8, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. Hammerer

    Like Waters said they all for sale to the highest bidder! The ethics panel can not convict Rangel because he knows the dirt on them.
    If one starts the snowball rolling every member of Congress will be exposed for the world to see and the stink would make you sick.

    October 8, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. jon

    Another long serving politician who feels the law does not apply to him and mocks his constituency with every smirking comment.

    October 8, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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