SEPTEMBER 15, 2009
In the latest of many scandals involving the corrupt chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, rental income has been concealed on yet another one of his properties for nearly a decade, this time a building in his New York district.
The same hometown newspaper that exposed Charles Rangel for failing to declare $75,000 in rental income on a Caribbean villa, reports that he has concealed eight years worth of rental income on a six-unit structure he owns in the Harlem area that he’s represented in the U.S. House for three decades.
From 1993 to 2000 the veteran Democrat lawmaker has reported no rental income on the property on federal financial disclosure forms even though tenants have paid rent to live there during that time. Over decades Rangel has selectively reported the property’s income, from nothing to up to $50,000 in federal disclosure forms.
It simply marks the latest of numerous violations in Rangel’s storied political career. He is already under investigation for tax evasion, using his office to raise money from corporations with business before his congressional committee and accepting multiple rent control apartments in New York in violation of state and city regulations as well as House ethics rules.
Last month he was exposed for hiding more than half of his wealth by omitting between $647,000 and $1.38 million in assets on federal disclosure statements. Rangel only revealed the information because the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into his many transgressions last fall and he feared the huge asset omission would be discovered in the course of the probe.
Earlier this month a major news agency reported that Rangel has made hefty campaign contributions to members of the House Ethics Committee charged with investigating him. Since his ethics probes began, the shady congressman has covertly given campaign donations to 119 members of congress, including three of the five Democrats investigating him. They include Kentucky’s Ben Chandler, North Carolina’s G.K. Butterfield and Vermont’s Peter Welch.
The growing scandals and mounting legal problems have created a powerful chorus of one-time supporters calling for Rangel to resign as committee chair. Many insist that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi step up to the plate and yank him from the coveted position, but she refuses to remove her good friend or censure him publicly unless the House Ethics Committee—that he’s been paying off—finds him guilty of misconduct.
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