Charles Rangel Admonished by Ethics Panel for Trips; Rangel Claims Staff Never Told Him of Conflicts

Charlie Rangel has been admonished by a House ethics panel for those Carib News Foundation-sponsored trips he took in recent years.

The panel revealed today that they found Rangel's staff had been advised that Carib was getting money from corporations whose involvement might pose a conflict of interest for the House Ways and Means Chairman if he took the trips -- though they have "no evidence" that Rangel got the message.

Rangel's longtime nemeses at the National Legal and Policy Center went to St. Maarten and obtained photos of one of the Carib events to which Rangel traveled, showing corporate logos -- including those of IBM, Citibank, Verizon,and AT&T -- on the signage.

Rangel says he wasn't advised of the conflicts by his staff, and blames them for the mess. Other Representatives who were similarly charged in the investigation were cleared by the panel.

The panel's action comes with no recommended sanctions, and Rangel has no plans to step down as Chairman. Republicans, of course, wish to be rid of him, as do a couple of Democratic Representatives (which Fox News translates as "Bipartisan Calls to Resign").

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sides with Rangel, but tentatively: "We'll just see what happens next," she says. (There are other investigations of Rangel pending.)


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