WASHINGTON - Black Veteran New York Congressman Charles Rangel is soliciting donations to a legal defense fund. The fund is asking for donations of up to $5,000 for the Charles B. Rangel Legal Expense Trust.
Earlier this month, the House voted 333 to 79 to censure the 40-year House veteran, over ethics violations he was found to have committed, including failure to pay taxes on a Dominican Republic home and filing misleading financial disclosures.
In a statement, Rangel said: "I have received authorization from the Committee on Standards and Official Conduct to begin raising funds for the Charles B. Rangel Legal Expense Trust, which I have sought to create so I can retain counsel for on-going activities related to the recently-concluded ethics investigations and other on-going matters."
Rangel said the House ethics panel approved H. Carl McCall, a former New York state comptroller, to serve as the trustee of the fund.
Rangel stated, "The repeated filings of allegations, no matter how unsubstantiated, by the National Legal Policy Committee, a politically-motivated right-wing group dedicated to eviscerating civil rights and labor union protections, have led me to this action. All contributions to the Trust will be reported as required on a quarterly basis with the Committee as well as the Legislative Resource Center for public disclosure.
"I continue to draw satisfaction from the recently concluded Ethics Committee investigations that established that, while I committed serious violation of the rules of the House, none of those violations included corruption, intent, self-dealing, self-enrichment or quid pro quos involving any official action," Rangel said.