The Big Question: Will Charlie Rangel survive?


Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com, said:
While I don't claim Nostradamus-like powers of prescience, I think it's safe to say that Rangel could win back his seat from jail. Now THAT's what I call a safe Democratic seat.

Peter Navarro,
professor of economics and public policy at U.C. Irvine, said:
Of course Rangel will get reelected. In his district, it’s the old rule: “Don’t get caught in bed with a live boy or a dead hooker.” Anything short of that, and the hustle will continue.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said:

The "ethics" of Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) have been well known for years. There's good reason  Rangel made Judicial Watch's list of  “Washington’s Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for two years in a row. After much delay, the conflict-ridden House ethics process resulted yesterday in unspecified charges against the former Ways and Means chairman. The Ethics Committee has a lot on its plate regarding Rangel. There was the $75,000 or more rental income (unreported) he earned from his villa in the Dominican Republic. There are the allegations that he improperly used his influence to maintain ownership of much sought after rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, possibly in violation of New York zoning laws. And then there is the news that the Democrat misused his congressional office to fundraise for the benefit of his “Rangel Center.” On top of all that, Rangel was forced to amend his financial disclosure reports, which doubled his reported wealth. (He somehow "forgot" about $1 million in assets!) What did he do when the House Ethics Committee started looking into all of this? He apparently resorted to making "campaign contributions" to dig his way out of trouble. According to WCBS TV: "The [then] reigning member of Congress' top tax committee is apparently 'wrangling' other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles ... Since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him." Rangel has already received a mild slap from the Ethics Committee for taking a couple of lavish corporate-funded trips to the Caribbean in violation of the chamber’s gift rules. The Ethics Committee's slow-walking of the Rangel investigation is a scandal, but we're pleased there might finally be some measure of accountability for the unapologetically corrupt Rangel. But Rangel may think he's done no worse than many of the colleagues who will sit in judgment of him and may fight to the bitter end. At its heart, this is a political process. My guess is that Pelosi wants voters to forget that Congress is an ethics "swamp" and will prevail upon Rangel to retire in November as part of a "plea deal." Of course, if Pelosi were truly concerned about corruption, Rangel would have been "retired" years ago.