Friday, February 26, 2010

Rangel in Hot Water

A House ethics panel has found that Representative Charlie Rangel violated House ethics rules when he went on corporate-funded trips paid for by the Carib News. Although four other members of Congress attended the trips with Rangel, they were cleared of any wrongdoing. Apparently, the ethics panel imputed to Rangel his staffers' knowledge of the actual sponsorship of the trips. As stated by Politico:
The committee did not find sufficient evidence to conclude, nor does it believe that it would discover additional evidence to alter its conclusion, that Rep. Rangel had actual knowledge of the memoranda written by his staff . . . However, the report finds that Rep. Rangel was responsible for the knowledge and actions of his staff in the performance of their official duties.
Rangel, however, objects to this conclusion:

I don’t want to be critical of the committee, but the common sense dictates that members of Congress should not be held responsible for what could be the wrongdoing of, or mistakes occur, as a staff unless there’s reason to believe the member knew or should have known. And there’s nothing in the record to indicate the latter. . . .So I have to now deal with my lawyer as to what the hell do they mean that something’s imputed. Does it mean that no matter what a staff member does if the member doesn’t know it that the member could be charged and admonished publicly for it?

Perhaps the findings are not as bad as the headlines, but this is not good news for Rangel.

2 comments:

liberal dissent said...

I think you mean Charles Rangel...It's a shame, he's a good man, but the right hates him because (a) he's unabashedly liberal and is willing to call Republicans out; and (b) they can't do anything about him because he routinely wins re-election with 90+% of the vote.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

LD: I absolutely meant Charlie Rangel. Sometimes the brain really should do 3 things at one time! And I agree with your analysis of Rangel. His district always reelects him; so he can be very liberal without risking voter alienation.

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