Did Rangel pay off Ethics Committee members?

While we normally limit ourselves to Sacramento specific news, the unraveling of  US Representative Charlie Rangle (D-N.Y.) has taken another fascinating turn this morning that is worth noting here at the blog.

This morning CBS went after Charlie Rangel in a big way by probing the embattled House Ways and Means chair charlie_rangelover his connections to the very people evaluating his ethics.  The House committee is currently investigating Rangel for a series of false disclosures and tax evasions, but Rangel acts as though he has nothing to fear.  What does he know that we don’t?  CBS follows the money:

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. …

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.

According to reports only Representative Peter Welch realized the perception of the gift and proceeded to return the nearly $20,000 donation.

Nancy Pelosi has assured Mr. Rangel that he can keep his powerful chair on Ways and Means while the ethical probe continues.  Apparently the Washington Post editorial board has heard enough.

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