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. susan

    Too bad the WH didn't get what we knew and what we want. They live in their fantasy world created by the the PRO-OBAMA News Media. They thought we are dumb and studpid. THEY ARE DEAD WRONG!

    I used to listen to NPR 8/5 ... But lately I shut the radio up. I was sick that no serious questions were raised to the PRESIDENT. Who's he? ? ? We the people, are his boss ! ! !

    October 8, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. DJ

    ALL of Congress needs to be fully audited by the IRS. Rangel simply got caught not disclosing his all of his assets.

    How much you want others like Senator Ensign are doing far worse and literally sleeping with lobbyists....err lobbyist wife(s) and taking cash bribes under the table.

    October 8, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. Farrell in Houston

    This just goes to show us, the IRS never goes after the "BIG" guys, it's always the little guys. Make an error on your tax report or don't pay and see how fast the IRS will seize upon you.

    October 8, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Peggy - TX

    The more we hear about Rep. Charlie Rangel's tax evasion, the worse it gets. Unless the snipets of information we are hearing are ourt right false, Charie needs to step down from his leadership position and the Dems need to make that happen ASAP.

    One Bad apple does not make the whole bunch rotten, unless ther all sit to long in the heat – Kick him out. NOW!!!

    October 8, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Evidently the people of Harlem set the bar low for their representatives. Rangel follows Adam Clayton Powell, one of the most corrupt politicians of all time.

    October 8, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Get rid of Rangel and Ensign both.

    They behaved in ways that are unbecoming to the statesmanship required of our political leaders and lawmakers.

    KICK ALL OF THEM OUT – they just line their pockets at our expense and do their dastardly deeds hoping to not get caught.

    I'm sorry just doesn't cut it with me. VOTE THEM OUT.

    October 8, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. NICE REAL NICE

    yea, too bad the democrats wont cut off his "special " committee char..

    epic fail.

    how about a snl skit about this

    so cnn can fact check it...

    October 8, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. Get Real

    I say we just clean the whole place out. BOTH SIDES ARE WORTHLESS!!!!!!! Start over with no Party Representation.

    October 8, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  9. Carlos

    I'm sure that Jesse and the other grease ball with his hair slicked back will come to his aid, after all you have to be a racist to expect him to pay taxes like the rest of us.

    October 8, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. teflon warrior

    As if the Dems need any worse of a reputation, just keep it up 2010 is just around the corner.

    October 8, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. Gerry

    There are two sections on the CNN menue Politics & Crime. This should be relabled as one menus item and called Political Criminals.

    October 8, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  12. jc

    the approval rating of 21% tells a lot about the lousy job these elected officials did ...

    transparency? look at the SHADOW ADMINISTRATION ...

    tax cheat, green job czar, school safty czar ... SHADOW AFTER SHADOW.

    They assume we are stupid ...

    October 8, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. jc

    Re-Elect No One !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    21 % approval ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    October 8, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. annie against biased news

    How many years have they been investigating this criminal? So if you are a dimocrat and you steal from the AMERICAN TAXPAYERS it is okay and you get no punishment?

    October 8, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. ib

    Why is this still an issue?? If it had been a conservative it would be have been put to bed a long time ago and you can bet the person would have been expelled.

    October 8, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. Darko

    Rangel is everything that's wrong with politics... Term limits please.

    Of course Nancy is now having memory problems "... the most ethical and transparent Congress ever" . Pardon me while I puke.

    Down:
    'Dollar' Bill Jefferson

    On the way out:
    Charlie Rangel
    Chris Dodd
    Harry Reid

    Funny how it's all the old timer, fat cats at the top that are going down.

    October 8, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. indy

    This probe won't result in anything. Representative Rangel will be allowed to maintain his position until he's either not re-elected or dies. Resigning is not an option for him, he's done nothing wrong and no one in his party has the guts to tell him anything different.

    October 8, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  18. Simmy

    Get rid of Vitter, Ensign, and joe the heckler.......You got nothin' GOP....This will not be another Jefferson moment.....

    October 8, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  19. Brian from NJ

    Funny how the Democrats make this announcement AFTER the Republicans tried to bring a resolution to the floor to remove Rangel... just like the Democrats changed the legal status verification language in their healthcare reform bill AFTER Joe Wilson's outburst... anything else the Democrats not doing (or hiding) that needs to be pointed out

    October 8, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  20. Patricia

    one down.....more to go.... Almost all of them are crooks. I bet there's only a small percentage of Congress working under the law and good morals.

    October 8, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. OldUncleTom

    IF the investigations lead to indictments, then Mr Rangel should resign his committee chair; I believe that is how it was handled in the case of the dancing Republican, Tom DeLay.

    Holding elected officials to a high ethical standard should never be a partisan issue, though either party can be counted on to try to cover for one of their own.

    October 8, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  22. Jenn, Philadelphia

    Maybe the Democrats can figure out a way to blame this on Bush, like they do everything else.

    October 8, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  23. m smith

    Rangle is wrong but this is just a smoke screen put up by the right wingnuts to keep from having to deal with important issues like health care. WE see through all this righious indignation. Im sure they are really unhappy about the lates polls that show the president has a 53% favorable rateing. I did not see that mentioned on Fox the entertainment channel. The party of No needs to get busy.

    October 8, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  24. cspurgeon

    This guy needs to go now. I don't care whether they are Republican crooks or Democratic crooks. We need a zero tolerance policy.

    October 8, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  25. David in West Virginia

    As a Democrat, I believe it is time for Rangel to step down. If he can't handle his own personal tax matters, he should not be handling American affairs. That being said, it's time that the Republicans request that the Idiot called Senator Ensign also step down as senator from Nevada. America deserves better than these and the Congress, both Democrats and Republicans need to take care of their constituents, not the Insurance Lobbyist and all the other crooks, Financials – Chase, for example. Our representatives are not doing America's work, PERIOD!!!!!!!

    October 8, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
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