Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nice: Charlie Rangel Broke House Ethics Rules by Paying Defense Lawyers With PAC Money In His Trial for Breaking House Ethics Rules

The ethics trial of Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is slated to begin tomorrow. Curiously, the Democrat leadership scheduled it to begin just after his reelection and just before control of the House flips over to the GOP in January.

Rangel is accused of violating more than a dozen ethics rules including failure to report huge financial transactions, failure to pay thousands in taxes, and drowning a woman at Chappaquiddick. Oh, wait -- that last one was a different Democrat. My mistake.

Rangel tapped his National Leadership PAC for $293,000 to pay his main legal-defense team this year. He took another $100,000 from the PAC in 2009 to pay lawyer Lanny Davis.

Two legal experts told The Post such spending is against House rules... "It's a breach of congressional ethics," one campaign-finance lawyer said... Washington, DC, political lawyer Cleta Mitchell said there is "no authority for a member to use leadership PAC funds as a slush fund to pay for personal or official expenses."

..."Accepting money or payment for legal expenses from any other source, including a PAC, would be a gift and is barred by the House rules," the lawyer said.

On top of the $393,000 in PAC funds, records show Rangel yanked $1.4 million from his campaign coffers in 2009 and 2010 to pay the firm Zuckerman Spaeder, his main legal-defense team, and $100,000 in 2009 to pay Davis' firm... He also spent $147,577 for Washington, DC, lawyer John Kern and $174,303 for Watkins, Meegan, Drury & Co., a firm that offers forensic accounting and legal services...

Rangel probably figures the ethics trial on these new charges won't take place until mid-November 2012, at which point he'll already have been reelected for the 75th time in a row.

We call this phenomenon Schadenfraud (translated: "Nancy Pelosi's 'most ethical Congress evah'").

Linked by: Michelle Malkin. Thanks!


Joe Kidd said...

That's exactly what I was thinking when I read it yesterday! LOL
Regarding the story that Democrat Congressman Charles "Cholly" Rangel raided his PACs for $393,000:
Let me get this straight. "Cholly" breaks the House ethics rules so he can fund his defense against breaking the House ethics rule. Huh? Does anyone else see a problem with this??? Talk about your vicious circles...

Tom Jones said...

Here's the thing though... he will walk. Again. He's walked for FORTY GODDAMN YEARS.

I have absolutely no faith in the idea that this ultra-corrupt government will actually punish one of their own, this icon of corruption and greed.

Bet you $ 20 the most he's going to get is a symbolic fine, equal to maybe 1/1000th of the funds he's defrauded us out of. Best-case scenario: acquitted on all counts.