House Launches Rangel Investigation

Sep 24, 2008 2:06pm

ABC News’ Dean Norland reports: The House Ethics committee announced today that they are launching an investigation into Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) on allegations that he failed to pay back taxes and misused Congressional resources to fundraise.

Rangel, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, had asked for months that the Ethics Committee review the allegations against him.  House GOP leadership had also called for the investigation.

In a written statement, the Ethics panel said they had created a subcommittee with jurisdiction to determine "whether Representative Rangel violated the Code of Official Conduct of any law, rule regulation."

The subcommittee will specifically investigate whether Rangel failed to pay taxes on rental income from a resort condo and whether he got a special deal on at least three rent-controlled apartments Rangel owns in New York (one of which he uses as his campaign office.)

The subcommittee will also look into whether Rangel misused official resources by sending out letters to potential donors of his for public service center on congressional stationary. Finally they will look into allegations that Rangel improperly stored his car in the congressional parking garage.

Many GOP House leaders are calling for Rangel to step down.  House Minority leader John Boehner recently issued a statement calling for Rangel to step down temporarily as Ways & Means committee chairman during the investigation and said that the "American people deserve far better than this."

Rangel characterized these calls as "guerilla tactics" in a letter to his constituents.

Representative Gene Green (D-TX) will chair the investigation but because of timing, it is likely to carry over into the next year.

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