Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rangel Found Guilty of Ethics Violations, Pays 25 Cent Fine

He's been "admonished" now or something, so I guess we've got to lay off all his criminal behavior. Savor the irony that he's probably the safest of the few safe Democrats come November. I have to admit I'm floored the Nancy Pelosi Congress, the most corrupt Congree ever, would find one of their sleaziest members guilty of what to them amounts to a parking violation.
The House Ethics Committee has found Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel violated ethics rules by accepting corporate-funded trips to the Caribbean, according to House sources.

Rangel told POLITICO Thursday night that he was being “admonished” by the committee on the grounds that at least two members of his staff knew about the corporate funding for the trips – and that Rangel himself should have known.

"I’m satisfied that when you read the report, that you will see that I have not been found guilty of anything,” Rangel said. “We were approved, the trip was approved. Whether or not it should have been approved is a serious issue.”

Rangel said that “the critical part in the report is they’re saying the ethics committee should not have authorized it if they had known all the facts — that some private funds were involved in the payment of the conference.”

Reps. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), Donald Payne (D-N.J.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Del. Donna Christensen (D-V.I.) also participated in the trips, but a source told the Associated Press that they have been exonerated by the committee.

Payne said Thursday evening that he has not received a letter from the ethics committee regarding any ruling, or talked to other members who were on the trip.

"It's hard to comment until I’ve seen the letter," Payne told a clutch of reporters Thursday evening. "I believe that it will exonerate the group, it will exonerate me anyway. It’s very difficult to comment on the letter until I receive it."
More here.
Rengel's ethics troubles also present an election-year dilemma for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who led a Democratic takeover of the House in 2006 on a campaign promise to end a "culture of corruption" in the GOP-led Congress.

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