As Mike Huckabee famously said: It’s “easier defending cannibal murderer Jeffrey Dahmer’s diet” than Congressman Charles Rangel’s tax evasion and ethics violations. Rangel was censured by the House and filed a civil lawsuit against Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and other members of the House Ethics Committee. Rangel’s sleaze truly ranneth over:
* Unpaid taxes: Rangel admitted he neglected to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income from his villa in the Dominican Republic.
* Four rent-stabilized apartments: He leased the Harlem units, including one as an office — which is barred by state law.
* Undisclosed income: He failed to reveal to Congress more than $600,000 in assets and tens of thousands of dollars in income.
* Inappropriate fundraising: He wrote letters on official congressional stationery to solicit money to build the Rangel Center at CUNY.
* Pay-to-play: He preserved a tax shelter for an oil-drilling company, Nabors Industries, whose chief executive donated money to the Rangel Center.
* Breaking House rules: He stored his vintage Mercedes in the congressional garage.
That’s a partial list. The “Adjucatory” Subcommittee consisted of four Democrats and four Republicans. Rangel lost a powerful committee chairmanship and the censure is in the House records for posterity (supposedly) but that’s about all.
But in 2013, rascally Rangel has cheated again! Didn’t report income. Didn’t pay taxes. Kevin at The Black Sphere has that story.
Rangel’s now dismissed lawsuit sought the following:
…a permanent injunction mandating the House to vacate his censure and delete references to it in official records. Boehner and other members responded to Rangel’s lawsuit requesting the court dismiss the case on five grounds: standing, the political question doctrine, immunity under the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution, failure to state a claim, and discretionary dismissal under the Declaratory Judgment Act or under the doctrine of equitable discretion. Source: Breitbart
Court statement in part:
The House has wide discretion to discipline its Members under the Discipline Clause, and this Court may not lightly intrude upon that discretion. Moreover, Members of Congress (along with their aides) are entitled to broad—although not unlimited—immunity under the Speech or Debate Clause. And perhaps most problematic is Rangel’s unprecedented view that this Court may order the House to, in effect, un-censure him. Rangel’s quarrel is with the House, and it must stay there; he may not under these circumstances enlist the Court’s involvement in that quarrel. See Breitbart link above.
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