WCBS-TV (New York), September 3, 2009
Congressman [Charles] 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.
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.