Charlie Rangel Is Innocent

The guy's an ego maniac, but not a crook
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2010 12:32 PM CDT
Charlie Rangel Is Innocent
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., waves as he gets into an elevator as he leaves his office for a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 30, 2010.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Charles Rangel isn’t a crook, and the ethics charges against him “range from the technical all the way to the trivial,” writes Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post. The only mildly juicy allegation is that Rangel failed to declare rental income from his Dominican villa on his taxes. That’s definitely embarrassing for an ex-Ways and Means Committee Chairman, but he’s already paid back all the taxes he owed, plus interest and penalties. The other accusations have “a Gertrude Stein problem: There’s no there there.”

Rangel’s accused of abusing New York’s rent control laws (he’s the first, surely), and of using his influence to build a center commemorating his legacy. “Where’s the out-and-out graft?” demands Robinson. “What’s missing is any allegation that Rangel bent or broke a single House rule for his own gain.” He was just trying to satisfy his ego, and if that's a crime for congressmen, “we’re going to have to build more prisons.” (Read more Charles Rangel stories.)

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