Harlem Rep. Charlie Rangel did break the rules and was convicted this morning of 12 of the 13 ethics violations leveled against him by a House panel.More:
A sanctions hearing, at a time yet to be determined, will decide what punishment he faces.
Possible punishments include a House vote deploring Rangel’s conduct, a fine and denial of privileges.
Rangel was not present when the committee rendered its decision.
The committee chairwoman, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), announced the verdict, saying, "We have tried to act with fairness, led only by the facts and the rule of law."
The convictions were for violations ranging from accepting rent-stabilized apartments from a Manhattan developer to failing to pay taxes on rental income from his villa in the Dominican Republic.
The eight-member committee split 4-4 on one of the counts.
The decision came a day after the 80-year-old lawmaker and former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee walked out of the proceedings to protest his lack of a lawyer.
Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, applauded the decision and called on Rangel to resign.Good luck with that. This is a resume-enhancer for Democrats. He'll be a bigger star than ever.
"All of Mr. Rangel's theatrics aside, the facts were clear: Mr. Rangel violated numerous House rules and federal laws," she said. "Whether these violations were deliberate or inadvertent, the American people deserve to be represented by members of Congress who adhere to the highest ethical standards. Mr. Rangel should resign."