The House ethics committee charged Rep. Charles B. Rangel (pictured) with 13 separate violations of House rules Thursday, saying his various financial dealings broke the "public trust." The long-awaited release of the charges against Rangel at an afternoon hearing was the first formal step toward a possible ethics trial in mid-September.
When last minute settlement negotiations broke down, the committee announced that it had found "substantial reason to believe" that the Harlem Democrat had:
Violated House rules or federal laws by soliciting donations from people with business before his committee to fund a center named in his honor at City College of New York, not paying taxes on a Caribbean home, improperly using a rent-stabilized apartment in New York as a campaign office, and not properly disclosing more than $600,000 in income and assets.
Only a few of his fellow Democrats have called on Rangel to resign. More could join in asking for a Rangel resignation now that the allegations have been detailed.
This is an embarrassment Democrats can do without going into the fall elections.