US House panel brings ethics case against lawmaker

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 23, 2010 08:11

 
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A House investigative committee on Thursday charged the former head of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee with multiple ethics violations, a blow to him in an election-year headache for Democrats.

The committee did not immediately specify the charges against Rep. Charles Rangel, 79, one of the most influential African-American lawemakers in Congress who has served in the House for some 40 years and is fourth in House seniority. The announcement by a four-member panel of the House Ethics Committee sends the case to a House trial, where a separate eight-member panel of Republicans and Democrats will decide whether the violations can be proved by clear and convincing evidence.

Rangel led the Ways and Means panel until he stepped aside last March after the Ethics Committee criticized him in a separate case — finding that he should have known corporate money was paying for his trips to two Caribbean conferences.

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