Congressional Panel Charges Rangel With Ethics Violations

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) was charged Thursday by the bipartisan House ethics committee with violating congressional ethics rules.

Rangel, a 40-year House veteran who temporarily stepped down from the chairmanship of the powerful Ways and Means Committee during the investigation into his conduct, faced public accusations of financial misdeeds. He's come under scrutiny for, among other things, not accounting for income he earned from rental property he owns in the Dominican Republic and using official congressional stationary to fund-raise for a school named after him.

The House ethics committee concluded that Rangel violated House ethics rules. Now, eight members of the House Committee on Standards and Official Conduct will start deliberating on the matter, according to officials.

Rangel, the dean of the New York congressional delegation, is facing his toughest re-election fight, with four Democratic primary opponents. A recent public opinion poll showed Rangel leading the race, but with just 39 percent of the vote.

In a short statement, Rangel responded to news of the charges by saying that "at long last, sunshine will pierce the cloud of serious allegations that have been raised against me in the media."