October 8th, 2009
05:06 PM ET
9 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. Jackie in Dallas

    What this is about, pure and simple, is following the law...but not just the ones you want to follow, but all of them. For the Republicans, it means allowing "due process" to take it's course and the assumption of innocence until found guilty. For the Democrats, it means that if Rangel is found to have violated the Code of Ethics for the House, he must be forced to resign his Chairmanship.

    Until the Ethics Committee finishes their deliberations, Rangel is presumed innocent and should not be forced to step down. By the same token, Republicans better get their own House members in order, because if they start making too much fuss, there's going to be investigations into THEIR members, as well. That goes for the Senate, as well! They've got members on both sides of the aisle whose conduct bears investigating!

    October 8, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. cgillette369

    he forgot he had $500,000 in a brokerage account. he's too rich to be in congress.

    give him a $500K Fine.

    October 8, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. Stu

    No one should be allowed to hold public office who has ever been convicted of a felony, regardless if they plead no contest or if adjudication was withheld, or if plead down to a lower charge. That would be a good start to ridding ourselves of criminals in office. Next, the practice of changing votes after the official vote, to appear better to the constituents, should be banned. Then, the Congressional Record should be required to be 100% verbatim, with no more re-wording, paraphrasing, or flat out inserting things into the record that never happened.

    Instead of taxpayer funded healthcare/welfare-care, how about we use some tax dollars to equally divide up to candidates running for office? No more political contributions, no more special interests, or using one's own funds to finance the campaign. Every candidate on a level playing field as far as campaign funding goes.

    October 8, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. dan smith

    Hey Pelosi thought you promised transparency now that you morons are in control of all three branches of government. Guess that was just one more liberal lie. Why is it-it took less than a week to censure Wilson for making a factual comment about Obama, but you obstruct justice against a known felon. There's transparency for you al right. Time for another American Revolution,through the bums out in 2010.

    October 8, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. They call me "tater salad"

    "We The People" need to weed out all of these crooked, do nothing, money grubbing, parasites, and whether you're Republican, or Democrat really doesn't cut any ice with me, bottom line, our entire Government needs a serious enema! And the time to do something about it is long overdue! Enough is enough!

    October 8, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  6. gt

    the tax payers are the victims.... who cares what party they are .... if you do the crime you do the time...stop excusing crimmal behavior just becasue they have a D or R .. by there names....some of you need to take off your blinders,,,,these guys are greedy crooks.....

    October 8, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. revolution

    He just another slime in Washington

    October 8, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. why do I bother

    what's the deal CNN? can't be bothered to post a more thoughtful comment? prefer to pointedly support the ignorance? I posted this on Dalai Lama story below, and instead you approved 3 more extreme messages and closed the comments:

    The Dalai Lama also contributes to the healing of suffering in the US, which he certainly doesn't have to do. Contrary to the default thought that this is a country of Christians, there are many Buddhists and non-Buddhist followers of Buddhist principles in our melting pot society. The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader who inspires peace, the very opposite of destroying our own country (pretty nutty to pretend that is happening at the hands of anyone else).

    October 8, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. Claudia

    Dems are going to be smokered in 2010. Repubs in....2012 Obama out...

    October 8, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Dave

    I am sure the pools that find Obama approval rating at over 50 (for having done nothing so far) will find Rangle approval rating at over 60 for having done something (illegal, that is!!!!)

    October 8, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    the republicans and FOX intertanment channel will do what ever it can to take all the democrates and the administration down with them. so hence there goes the total country downthe toilet with the republicans . OH and the insurance giants. we are in a pickle . not enough people will get organized to fight back against the power hungry republicans and big business giants. ..what they are doing to all of america is chipping away at everything for self greed. pretty soon it will all be gone . and we will be in a depression full blown.and everyone of the rich lieing bastards will be just as broke as the rest of us .. but we even then can rebuild our nation. because we aren't afraid to get our hands dirty . .....like the president says ... (FIRE IT UP READY TO GO! )


    October 8, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. susie

    He's a victim, just like Congressman Jefferson in Louisiana was a victim, when he claimed someone evidently put several hundred thousand dollars in his deep freezer, because he had no clue how it got there.

    October 8, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. Mike

    When will American flush the toilet..clean out the barn? The two party system works for the two parties, not the people. Throw the bums, and bum-ettes out. Let's institute term limits and let honest Americans serve then get a life and get the hell out of Washington!

    October 8, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. Never Repub again

    Repubs try hard to block everything good for US. Vote them out.

    October 8, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. yuri

    Nobody should be above the law, for chrissakes. If found guilty, he oughta face the punishment that fits the crime, if proven as committed.

    October 8, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. John D.

    So much for the Party of TRANSPARENCY. So much for the Party of ETHICS. What a bunch of hypocirits the Democrats are. Their whole voter base will defend them saying they really did mean anything they said about turning Congress into a system Americans can believe in.

    October 8, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. Big Al

    Charlie Rangel is so busy trying to clean up the mess in Washington that he probably did forget about his own personal financial matters. Everyone should get off his back.

    Shame on the House Ethics Committee to launch an investigation. I smell racism here.

    October 8, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    As long as liberals run the House of Representatives, there is nothing that will come of it. Nancy Pelosi has already proven that by having this case supposedly under investigation for over a year now. Also, Rangel has already claimed race discrimination regarding this investigation so the libs in charge will go no further.

    October 8, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. mjm

    They have been "looking into it" for about a year. Now they are going to really, really "look into it".

    They would actually do something about it if they didn't need his vote on health care.

    The guy's a liar cheat, just like most of the liberal Democrats including Obama.

    Oh and LacrossMom....To answer your question....NEVER. They didn't do anything illegal. You can through around accusations all you want, but at the end of the day Bush and Cheney committed no crime.

    Funny how when you have an actual crime by the liberals, it's innocent until proven guilty. Bush and Cheney are guilty for....what was the charge again? No charges? That’s what I thought.

    October 8, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. obama the liar

    to think that a poor man from Harlem could succeed enough to be a multi millionaire Congressman is in a way a salute to every struggling person in America.

    October 8, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their foolishness.

    Rangel see how your buddy Obama has turned on him This is what you get when you cross the Erkel mentality. Don't worry he will get his sooner than later. A fake can not survive.

    October 8, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Hugo

    About time, and while they are at it perhaps they could look into the Obama campaign funding and contribution discrepancies.

    October 8, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. Censorship in Practice form at CNN--S Callahan NYS

    You know that game with the long rope and two groups pulling against each other...when one goes down on one side, the rest follow along.......well, when Rangel goes down you willl see that side follow suit..with maybe one or two still standing....... I suspect everyone is holding tight to the rope right now......

    October 8, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. I Am Still A Dem

    I never watched FOX NEWS before this election. I was a long time (15 + years) viewer of CNN. But this one-sided coverage of the election MADE ME SICK! How could a big name like CNN do their reporting so biased? so unbalanced? So por – OBAMA? I assumed my ticket for him BUT I EVENTUALLY VOTED FOR REPUB THE 1ST TIME IN MY LIFE! (I am 40 YEARS OLD NOW).

    The DEM kept writing me news letters and asking for donation. I told them not to email me because dumO has enough support from the news media. I don't think he need us, we the people anymore!

    This is the CHANGE Obama brought to me. Thanks FOX, thanks, Dumbama.

    October 8, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. FormerGOP

    Come on people read between the lines
    “issues relating to financial impropriety.”
    They don’t give any info on what kind of improprieties.
    It could be something as simple as he paid for dinner with his gov card
    I think the Government needs to stop tell “we the people” things
    We are never happy.

    October 8, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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