The House ethics committee laid out a series of charges against Congressman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., on Thursday, including his failure to pay taxes on rental income he earned from a vacation villa he owns in the Dominican Republic.
Rangel was the former chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. In response to the 13 charges spelled out against him, Rangels legal team released his answers, including to the tax allegations.
Congressman Rangel acknowledged publicly, prior to the establishment of the Investigative Subcommittee, that his tax returns omitted rental income derived from his investment in the Punta Cana resort located in the Dominican Republic and that he had filed amendments and paid additional taxes. Congressman Rangel has done everything within his power to fulfill his legal obligations in this regard, and to the best of his knowledge, nothing further is required.
House Democrats had hoped to avert a trial of Rangel, which is now scheduled for September. It would be the first public trial of a member of the House since 2002, when James Traficant, D-Ohio, faced bribery charges. However, talks reportedly broke down between Rangel and members of the House Committee of Standards of Official Conduct on which charges he was willing to acknowledge.
Other charges involve the solicitation of potential donors to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York, violations of Postal Service laws and the Franking Commission regulations and the gifts ban in soliciting funds for the Rangel Center, a variety of omissions from Rangels financial disclosure statements, the rental of four apartments in Harlem at below market rates for campaign purposes, as well as violations of the code of conduct requiring members to behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.
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