Investigation expands into Congressman accused of not paying taxes
U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) must feel like Superman. Despite an ongoing ethics probe, the Ways and Means Committee chairman has managed to fend off three votes to have him removed from his position. For awhile, it has seemed that he was invincible.
Last week, however, the bipartisan House ethics committee signaled that might be changing. After 150 subpoenas, 34 witnesses and more than 12,000 pages of documents, the committee clearly believes that it's making some headway: the committee has publicly announced that it will expand its investigation into Rangel's finances.
The timing couldn't be worse for the Rangel -- or better for the committee. After a few years of taxpayer apathy, a dismal economy may be changing public opinion. And an intensified scrutiny of Rangel's finances certainly won't attract the kind of attention that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wants as the 2010 elections draw near.