Thursday, was not a good day for Good Time Charlie Rangel(D-NY). The House Ethics committee charged Rangel with multiple ethics charges. The timing could not be worse. This comes 3 1/4 months to the November midterm elections. From the New York Post:
The committee did not immediately specify the charges against the Democrat, who has served in the House for some 40 years and is fourth in House seniority. The announcement by a four-member panel of the House ethics committee sends the case to a House trial, where a separate eight-member panel of Republicans and Democrats will decide whether the violations can be proved by clear and convincing evidence.
The timing of the announcement ensures that it will stretch into the fall campaign, and Republicans are certain to make it an issue as they try to capture majority control of the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi had once promised to “drain the swamp” of ethical misdeeds by lawmakers in arguing that Democrats should be in charge.
Rangel led the tax-writing Ways and Means panel until he stepped aside last March after the ethics committee criticized him in a separate case — finding that he should have known corporate money was paying for his trips to two Caribbean conferences.
Officials said that in the current case, the committee and Rangel’s attorney tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a settlement. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private discussions. A settlement would have required Rangel to agree that he violated ethics rules.
The investigation of Rangel has focused on:
—His use of official stationery to raise money for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York.
—Whether he had the Ways and Means Committee consider legislation that would benefit donors to the Rangel Center at the same time the congressman solicited donations or pledges.