Rangel convicted of ethics charges – wrist, meet slap
After over 2 years of “investigating” the corruption scandals of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), the House Ethics (how’s THAT for an oxymoron?) Committee finally convicted him on 11 of 13 counts. Conveniently they didn’t announce this until after the election, so Rangel was re-elected for a 20th term by his brain-dead constituents. Apparently most of the voters in his district were unaware of his years of tax evasion, rent control violations, perjury and “ethics” violations. He seems like such a nice guy I suppose.
It was announced yesterday that the “ethics” panel has recommended a full censure for Rangel. Wrist, meet slap. Charlie had hoped for a lesser penalty and was at times defiant while trying to appear contrite. (story here)
The House ethics committee recommended on Thursday by a vote of 9-1 that Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) be formally censured by the full House for 11 counts of violating ethics rules.
The panel also ordered Rangel to pay restitution of any unpaid taxes.
“We have worked together in this matter in a way that actually has been quite wrenching and we’re satisfied with our conclusion,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the panel’s chairwoman.Short of expulsion, censure is the most serious sanction the ethics panel can recommend. Only 22 House members have been censured in the history of the chamber.
A majority of the full House would have to vote to censure Rangel or lawmakers could opt for a lighter punishment. That vote likely will wait until after the Thanksgiving recess.
If the House votes in favor of censure, Rangel most likely would have to stand in the well of the House for a formal rebuke and reading of the censure resolution by outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). A reprimand would only require the House to formally adopt the investigative committee’s report on Rangel’s activities.
Before the committee made its decision, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) argued for a lighter punishment than censure and reminded the committee that Rangel received a purple heart and a bronze star for his heroism in the Korean War. Butterfield, who is under investigation by the ethics committee for failing to repay excess travel per diems, or another member sympathetic to Rangel could offer a resolution calling for a reprimand or lesser punishment.
“The facts of the case do not, do not warrant a censure in my opinion,” Butterfield said. “Even counsel has acknowledged that deciding punishment is difficult in this case. Censure is extreme and should be restricted to personal conduct in which the [lawmaker] received personal gain.”
Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) cautioned his colleagues that punishing Rangel would bring more scrutiny to each and every member of Congress and the political donations they receive from corporations and individuals.
Looks like his corruptocrat buddies are worried about their own asses. Hey you clowns, we’re talking about this corrupt bag of shit standing before his “colleagues” and being told what a bad boy he is. That’s IT! Just a reminder for you: for tax evasion, the average citizen faces fines, penalties, property confiscation and prison time. This guy is going to skate with a slap on the wrist.
Welch then gave Rangel an opportunity to make some final comments about the matter to his constituents.
Seemingly on the verge of tears, an emotional Rangel paused for several seconds before responding.
He thanked Welch for the “awkward opportunity.”
“I don’t know how much longer I have to live but it will always be to help people, and I thank God for what he has given to me,” he said.
He apologized for any embarrassment he has caused and stressed that he would like the panel to acknowledge that he never sought any personal gain and is not corrupt. Rangel also lashed out the press.
“What the press has done to me and my family is totally unfair and they will continue to call me a crook and call me corrupt,” he said.
Rangel, the 80-year-old, 20-term House veteran, admitted some fault in his initial statement to the panel, but added: “I had no intent to evade or avoid the law.”
Awww – poor Charlie. He had “no intent to evade or avoid the law.” No Charlie, you put yourself above the law and that’s the problem we have with congress and the rest of the government. You don’t think the law applies to you.