Entries in Ethics Scandal (4)


Mug Shots of John Edwards Released

U.S. Justice Department(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Marshals Service has released mug shots taken of John Edwards after he was booked in North Carolina earlier this month on charges of conspiracy, illegal campaign contributions and providing false statements.

ABC News secured the release of the mug shots after filing a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

The 57-year-old former U.S. Democratic Senator and one-time vice presidential candidate was indicted earlier this month on six federal counts that he used political donations to hide an extramarital affair he was having with a woman filming his campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

According to the Justice Department, what Edwards did was illegal because he used the contributions to prevent a possible sex scandal from derailing his chances of winning the Democratic nod.

Edwards insists he did not break federal election campaign laws.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


House Ethics Committee to Vote on Charles Rangel's Punishment

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The legendary, once-powerful New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel will learn his fate Thursday when he is sanctioned by the House Ethics Committee for multiple violations of House rules.

On Tuesday, the committee found Rangel guilty of 11 of 13 ethics charges, ranging from improper fundraising to failing to disclose assets on financial disclosure forms.

The sanction, whatever it might be, will be a stain on the record of a man who has served in the House for 40 years.  The scandal forced him to relinquish his chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee in March.

Rangel has blasted the ethics proceeding because the committee was unwilling to delay the trial so that he could explore the creation of a legal defense fund to pay his bills.  He stormed out of the proceeding on the first day, saying he couldn't afford an attorney to represent him, even though the committee chairwoman, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, said he had had ample time to explore representation.

Later, Rangel released a statement calling the committee's verdict "unprecedented in view of the fact that they arrived at without rebuttal or counter evidence on my behalf."

At a noon hearing on Thursday, members of the committee will hear from R. Blake Chisam, the chief counsel for the ethics committee, who will lay out the sanction recommendations.

Based on the recommendations, the committee will then consider and vote on a sanction motion and its recommendations of disciplinary action before sending the matter to the full House of Representatives.  The possible sanctions range from expulsion from Congress -- which is highly unlikely -- to censure, reprimand or a formal letter of reproval.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Charles Rangel Seeks Delay, But Ethics Trial Moves Forward

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Embattled New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel on Monday defiantly demanded that the House Ethics Committee delay his pending public trial because he hasn't been given enough time to set up a defense fund to pay for legal representation.

But after a closed-door meeting to consider the request, the committee of four Democrats and four Republicans pledged to move forward, despite Rangel's threat to walk out on the proceedings.

Rangel, who had initially appeared without lawyers by his side, told the committee that his legal team had to withdraw in October because he was unable to pay the nearly $2 million in legal bills. He insisted moving forward now would be unfair.

Rangel also said that while he has asked repeatedly for the opportunity to clear his name, he only learned one week ago the details of the case. But committee chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said Rangel has had enough time to explore means to pay for counsel and consider the evidence and charges against him.

Rangel, who resigned as chairman of the Ways & Means Committee in March, faces 13 counts of violating House rules, including improperly fundraising for a community center in his name and failing to disclose more than a half million dollars in assets on financial disclosure forms.

Other charges allege he improperly obtained four rent-controlled apartments in New York City; failed to disclose financial arrangements for a villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic; and, improperly stored a vehicle in the House parking lot.

A panel of three nonpartisan lawyers for the ethics committee began presenting evidence gathered over the two year investigation. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Congressman Charles Rangel's Ethics Trial Approaches Monday

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A two-year ethics scandal that saw embattled New York Rep. Charles Rangel lose his powerful position among House Democrats, but not his bid for re-election, will come to a climax when he faces an ethics panel Monday on Capitol Hill.

The ethics trial promises to be a spectacle.  Rangel, 80, a former New York City prosecutor, likely will represent himself as he faces the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.  The proceeding is formally called an adjudicatory hearing.

Rangel fired his legal team in late October, drawing into question whether the trial would be delayed.  But Rangel is expected  to seize Monday's opportunity to clear his name.

Rangel stands accused of 13 counts of violating House rules, but has emphatically denied any wrongdoing.  He allegedly failed to reveal more than half a million dollars in assets on financial disclosure forms, improperly obtained four rent-controlled apartments in New York City and failed to disclose financial arrangements for a villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic.

Perhaps the most serious charge surrounds Rangel's fundraising activities for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York.  Rangel allegedly used his status as then-chairman on the House Ways and Means Committee to raise money for the center from corporations and foundations that had business before the House of Representatives and his committee.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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