Rep. Charlie Rangel is finding himself in deeper trouble every day as the House Ethics Committee announced today it was expanding its probe into Rangel’s finances. In an investigation that has already lasted 16 months, the committee voted unanimously to expand its probe, revealing that it had already issued 150 subpoenas, interviewed 34 witnesses, and looked at 12,000 pages of documents related to Rangel’s affairs.
Charlie Rangel still holds the chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, a position you would think he would be booted from since he’s the center of an ever-widening ethics and tax scandal. Say, didn’t Speaker Pelosi say something about running the most ethical and transparent Congress in history when she took the gavel back in 2006? Why, I think she did!
Instead, not only have Pelosi and the rest of the House Democrats looked the other way, they just yesterday defeated an effort by Republicans to strip Rangel of his committee chairmanship. It’s shamelessly partisan and wildly hypocritical considering Democrats were swept to power in 2006 decrying the so-called “culture of corruption” in a GOP-controlled Congress. Sorry, folks, but the pig trough smells just as bad under the new management.
It’s a poor excuse to say, “Everybody else does it” or “The other guys are just as bad.” Democrats have had multiple opportunities to stand up for doing the right thing and have failed on all counts. That doesn’t make Republicans better, but it does make a mockery of the supposed integrity of the ruling party.