Rangel Establishes Legal Defense Fund

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Charles Rangel has established a defense fund that will allow supporters to contribute up to $5,000 a year to help pay his legal bills.

The New York Democrat still owes money to his former lawyers, who represented him in an ethics case that ended with his censure.

The Charles B. Rangel Legal Expense Trust was approved by the House ethics committee, the same panel that successfully recommended that the House censure Rangel for financial and fundraising misconduct. Rangel announced the establishment of the fund on Tuesday.

H. Carl McCall, the former New York State comptroller, will serve as trustee. Contributions will be reported quarterly and disclosed publicly.

The House voted 333-79 on Dec. 2 to censure Rangel, a punishment that required the speaker of the House to publicly read the censure resolution while the 80-year-old lawmaker stood at the front of the chamber.

Rangel had sought a postponement of the ethics case, arguing that his lawyers abandoned him late in the ethics committee’s investigation when he could no longer afford to pay them. He said he spent about $2 million defending himself.

The ethics panel declined the request, and said Rangel could have established the defense fund at the time to pay his legal bills.

A fundraising letter asked for a contribution of up to $5,000 by Dec. 31. Donors could then contribute up to that amount next year. The trust can accept corporate contributions, but not donations from federally registered lobbyists.

Rangel also has hired lawyer Bill OIdaker to defend him before the Federal Election Commission, where a complaint by a nonprofit group alleges he improperly paid legal bills from a political action committee.

The FEC complaint was filed by The National Legal and Policy Center, a group that has regularly complained about Rangel’s conduct. The group contended that Rangel’s National Leadership PAC could not be used under FEC rules for the congressman’s legal defense.

Rangel has denied any wrongdoing.

He said when the complaint was filed, “The National Leadership PAC attorney has authorized the use of its funds for . legal expenses. A complaint can be filed by any entity and it should not be taken as fact.”

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • FiveT

    Anyone person or entity that “donates” to this fund will become a person or entity of interest themselves. So it stands to reason that is why they allowed the fund to be established in the first place. So please, by all means donate to this crook and draw some attention to yourselves, maybe one of you will go to jail with any luck.

  • David JJ Butler

    You and Paterson signaled the move on us, and are being taken to task by the Creator, those others know who they are and will face the same. The community should be unforgiving.

  • David JJ Butler

    Rangel you forced our families to go on Welfare. Our families still haven’t forgiven us, and the community should be unforgiving.

  • David JJ Butler

    His/their main ploy against us was to say we weren’t paying taxes. Where is your pride, you should have walked away.

  • David JJ Butler

    Just as Rangel and His band of sellout Black Politicians demonized the 125th Street Vendors Association, so you are now.

  • Jim Gordon

    Chuck Rangel should be wearing an orange suit like his fellow tax evader.

  • Captain Obvious

    Charles Rangel sure has GIANT brass ones asking for donations. A few close friends may throw him a couple of bucks, but everyone else should be turning their backs on him. He is a crook.

  • janet

    maybe he should ask congress for a bailout.

    • keith germaine

      congress might just do it, at the taxpayers expense!!!

  • HUGO

    Charlie knows that he is above the law and he can get away with anything. People should face the facts and stop wasting their time. Charlie is 100% untouchable and no one can stop him,

    • mojo

      Only an honest and trustworthy man can replace him…and he has to be Black.Is Marion Barry avalible

  • mojo

    we need a prosecution fund set up.Give this guy the boot

  • Ratt

    I bet the Clintons will donate. This douc## should be sharing a cell with Wesley Snipes and Giethner.

  • Keith Germaine

    Only in America can you lie, cheat, & steel and expect others to pay your bills. It was an expensive holiday season for me. Anyone wish to donate to my personal fund?

    • mojo

      You bought gifts this year,wow must be nice.

  • MK

    GALL!!!!! Absolute, unmitigated GALL!!!!!

  • aldous huxley

    Rangel is the stereotypical “crooked” politician. He is almost too funny.

    Why would anyone want to help pay his bills?

    Charlie, you lost. You don’t get to beg for help now. You just disappear quietly into retirement and ultimately fade away. History will remember you for your misdeeds. Consider yourself lucky you aren’t going to prison.

  • Michele New Englander

    Unfortunately, everyone who has supported his “causes” will jump on the band wagon and support this “cause” also. If politicians had to work hard and pay for things out of their own pockets maybe more of them would be honest, respected people and government wouldn’t be so corrupt especially in NY and NJ

  • RB

    This turd can burn in Hell

  • Gary

    Rangel should of resigned and kept his money.Now he expects supporters to pay his legal fe’s for tax evasion charges alleged. What a joke people will probably pay it for him.Sleeping his ass off in the Dominican Republic on the tax payers dime.What a country.

  • Judy Riggenbach

    Who is Congress kidding! Censure ? OOH he got yelled at ! Naughty naughty man! Now this? Anyone who ever thought Congress members were not crooks or did not accept crooked behavior as the norm just has to look at how they handled Rangel. HE is a crook and should be in jail.

  • Carl Mosconi

    Too bad there isn´t a hell for him to go to!

  • john

    “Supporters” can buy his vote with $5000 deposits. Crooked, crooked crook….

  • JD

    That suit he is wearing prolly cost more than i make a week.
    What a A–wipe

  • ezflyer13

    I guess that he must think that people are so blind to just open up their wallets and give him $5k for his legal issues….with all of the money that he has made, he should pay for it himself….sorry pal, no money for u.

  • martin r

    a defense fund for a thief what about the 17 years of taxes he didnt pay you miss 1 pymt with the IRS and they are at your door how about some jail time instead of a slap on the wrist and a new account to steal from

  • Mike Paducka

    Any one who “donates” to his defense fund should go to jail with him.

  • Michael Panella

    Defense fund? Send Charlie to jail.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live