Sorry Charlie but you have been outed. Not just the thirteen count “indictment” filed against you yesterday by the House Ethics Committee, but the fact that Charlie Rangel has been fighting the committee tooth and nail for two years.
Rangel’s response to the charges were that his constitutional rights were violated because he wasn’t given time to answer the charges, which was a deliberate lie that motivated the committee to release more information
Overnight, the ethics committee released documents showing that the NY Democrat’s stubbornness and failure to meet deadlines that extended this investigation for two years. Additionally many of Rangel’s comments to the public about the investigation were outright lies.
The committee wrote, “[Rangel’s] failure to abide by the deadlines set by the Investigative Subcommittee was troubling.” Throughout 2010, the committee attracted criticism for its lengthy probe of the 80-year-old legislator.
Earlier this year, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, publicly urged the ethics committee to finish its work on Rangel “expeditiously.”
The ethics report released Thursday stated, “The inquiry was delayed in several instances by the actions of [Rangel] and his counsel, particularly with respect to the production of documents and a forensic accountant’s report.”
Rangel promised to provide investigators with a forensic accountant’s report, but did not do so until six months after announcing he was hiring such an accountant, the report said.
Green and Bonner indicated that the lack of cooperation was so bad that investigators needed to issue a subpoena to Rangel.
Late last month, Rangel formally urged the panel to abandon the case. It took only two days for the committee to deny the request in a 20-page response.
Investigators appeared especially irritated with Rangel’s statement to the press on June 6. At the time, he said, “…If they’re so confused after 18 months that they can’t find anything, then that is a story.”Green and Bonner wrote, “That statement was made nine days after the Investigative Subcommittee had transmitted a copy of the proposed Statement of Alleged Violation to [Rangel].”
They added Rangel made another “misleading” statement when he told the media on July 7, “There is no accusation against me doing something wrong except by the press.
“This statement,” Green and Bonner wrote, “was made 21 days after the Statement of Alleged Violation had been adopted by the Investigative Subcommittee and transmitted to [Rangel].
The lawmakers added that due to the ethics committee rules on confidentiality, “the Investigative Subcommittee was unable to publicly respond to these inaccurate comments.”
In another document, the ethics panel mocks Rangel’s claims he did not violate the House gift ban: “Congress intended for the Solicitation and Gift Ban to be broad, particularly with respect to Members of Congress….While the statute does not speak of business before a particular committee (as opposed to the House generally), it bears noting that the one committee that touches everyone is the Ways and Means Committee. There being no committee on death, the only certain thing in life is covered within the jurisdiction of the Ways and Means Committee.”
In his public comments at an ethics forum on Thursday, Green pointed out he was submitting a statement for the record to respond to Rangel’s public statement.
Green said Rangel “refuted repeated requests” for documents, made “spurious” arguments and rebukes the Harlem legislator’s assertions that investigators violated his Constitutional rights.
He also suggested Rangel and his attorneys didn’t follow proper procedures, stating that some of Rangel’s submissions were not signed under oath.
Charlie Rangel is getting what he asked for a day in court. Apparently he has been toying with the court for two years. Lets hope that either way, he gets exactly what he deserves.