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Is Charlie Rangel in trouble? The House Ethics Committee has “expanded” its probe of the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, begun this summer, to include his most recent financial disclosure statements, made in August, when he must have known the heat was on and been extra careful about them. The committee is also looking at Rangel’s multiple rent-stabilized apartments and his Dominican resort hanky-panky.
Rangel says it’s no big deal. Republicans will take what they can get and make the most of it. Having just failed to pass, as they certainly knew they would, another resolution to remove him from his post, they may be expected to work the continuing attention on the Democratic congressman — especially if he ends up with a slap on the wrist or less…
“The real problem, though,” says the Indianapolis Star, “is the overall portrait of a wealthy and privileged congressional pasha to whom ordinary rules don’t apply.” “Protecting a ‘culture of corruption,'” says the American Spectator, “could come back to haunt [Democrats] in 2010 like it hurt Republicans in 2006.”
Republican congressman John Carter says Republicans will keep the spotlight on “until the investigation is complete and pressure Speaker Nancy Pelosi to do the right thing” — namely, Rangel’s removal.