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Rangel Found Guilty of Ethics Violations

(File photo by Getty Images)

A House ethics subcommittee found Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., in violation of 11 of 13 ethics charges stemming from disputes over his personal finances and solicitation of charitable donations.

The subcommittee will now have a hearing to decide Rangel’s punishment, which could range from expulsion from the House to a reprimand, censure or fine. According to House ethics rules, reprimands are for “serious violations” while censure is for “more serious violations” of the rules.

Whatever punishment the sanctions committee recommends will have to be approved by a vote by the entire House.

On Monday, Rangel asked that the trial be postponed because he did not have time to get a new lawyer after separating from the legal team that represented him during the nearly two-year investigation into the charges. Rangel said he has spent more than $1 million on his legal expenses during the investigation.

Rangel was found in violation of failing to report income on a rental property in the Dominican Republic, soliciting money for a college center named after him using House letterhead, and using a rent-controlled apartment in New York City for his campaign.

On Monday, ethics committee attorney Blake Chisam, serving as prosecutor, told the committee that he did not think the charges showed that Rangel was corrupt, only that he was sloppy with his finances.

Rangel has served for 40 years in the House representing the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. He stepped down as the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax law, while under investigation.

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