Rangel-ing: Charlie Pays 'Angels' In Ethics Probe
Harlem Congressman Gave Campaign Contributions To 3 Dems On Ethics Committee Charged With Investigating HimClick this link for more articles about government antics CBS 2 HD has learned of more alleged back-door dealings and political power peddling by Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel.
The reigning member of Congress' top tax committee is apparently "wrangling" other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles.
Here's a look at Charlie's so-called "angels" involved in his ethics investigation.
Congressman Rangel has been arrogant in refusing to discuss how, as the man who writes this country's tax laws, he failed to report over $1 million in outside income and $3 million in business transactions as required by the House, lapses under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
"I recognize that all of you have an obligation to ask questions knowing that there's none of you smart enough to frame it in such a way that I'm going to respond," Rangel said.
There may be a reason for Rangel's arrogance. CBS 2 HD has discovered that since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him.
Charlie's "angels" on the committee include Congressmen Ben Chandler of Kentucky, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina and Peter Welch of Vermont. All have received donations from Rangel.
Only Welch sees something wrong with being financial beholden to Charlie.
"In an abundance of caution, he has returned all campaign contributions from Mr. Rangel," said spokesman Bob Rogan, Welch's Chief of Staff.
It amounted to nearly 20 grand.
Experts say the congressman's largess makes him crazy like a fox.
"Certainly money does make friends and influence people and perhaps make him a little bit more popular and at this particular moment that might help," said pundit Micheline Blum of Baruch College.
"Buying insurance, you know? Don't bite the hand that's feeding you. Clearly he sees himself as having a problem and he is contributing to members who might look favorably," added Doug Muzzio of Baruch.
Congressman Rangel has said he expects the House Ethics Committee to rule quickly on the ethical charges that are being brought against him. The problem is he's been saying the same thing for well over a year.
Rangel's office did not return a request for comment on the question of whether the congressman thought members receiving donations from him should step aside and let others rule on the ethics charges.