Rep. Charlie Rangel was recently admonished by an ethics panel for accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean. And while he’s always been known as a crook, he can now add “coward” to his resume. He’s set to blame his staff for the ethics violations and predictably, the Washington Post writer agrees with him.
It’s unseemly when members of Congress throw their staffs under the bus when they get into trouble. That Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) is the latest offender is no surprise. But the embattled chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee might be justified — in this instance.
Carib News Foundation hosted Rangel and four other members of the Congressional Black Caucus at seminars in Antigua, Barbuda and St. Maarten in 2007 and 2008. The trips were cleared by the House Ethics Committee. But now the committee says it was given misleading information by the foundation about the corporate sponsorship of the trips, which would have put the kibosh on congressional participation. Yet Rangel was the only one of the five members to be admonished by the ethics committee. Even though it found no proof that he knew, Rangel is being held responsible because two of his staffers knew about the corporate sponsorships.
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