Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why Aren't Prosecutors At Rangel's Door, And The DOJ Blows It **UPDATED**

If you or I somehow, mysteriously, ended up with $600,000 large in cold hard cash, with no explanation, and no taxes paid (i.e., tax evasion), what do you think would happen to you or me? I'm thinking if it came to light, I might have some nice Fed showing up at my door telling me I had a little 'splaining to do.

New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin thinks Charlie Rangel would, too. If he weren't in Congress, that is:

Wow, pretty scathing, especially coming from a noted liberal. And it is interesting to me to hear him say that Rangel hasn't even really done anything for his district, but rather for himself and his cronies. And yet he was just elected. Go figure.

But Mr. Goodwin is right. I don't care if Rangel has served 100 years in the Congress, that does not make him exempt from our laws. Given that Rangel is the chair of the very committee that creates tax law, he should be held to a higher standard, not a lesser one. Speculation is that he will get little more than a reprimand for his numerous ethical (and legal) infractions. How is it again that he isn't being prosecuted for the tax evasion? Beats me.

But, then again, the DOJ isn't exactly batting a thousand these days. Their "brilliant" decision (cough choke) to try Ahmed Kailfan Ghailani in civilian court is evidence enough of that. How someone can be acquitted on 284 counts of terrorism charges and found guilty of just 1 with the mountain of evidence stacked against him would be laughable were it not so damn serious. It is an affront, is it not?

Here are the Fox All-Stars discussing this very issue:

I don't know about you, but it seems to me this Administration is failing miserably in not charging people who should be charged with crimes because of who they are, and at dealing with people who have plotted against our very nation, and who took American lives. What kind of message does this send, that someone can conspire against our nation, and the very logic used to convict him of one count somehow acquits him of almost 300 other counts despite their being based on the one charge? It is startling in its lack of logic.

I guess it is not too late for the Congress to step up and do the right thing and expel Charlie Rangel, though I am not holding my breath on that one. Nor am I holding my breath on them doing much no matter the result of the upcoming ethics trial for Maxine Waters. The way the committee acted after the Rangel trial is reason enough when the counsel claimed it wasn't so much that Rangel was corrupt, just that he was "sloppy" when it came to his personal finances. Are you kidding me? Good grief.

Well, I guess we will know soon enough what will happen with Mr. Rangel. And, if this panel lets him off with merely a slap on the wrist, we know they will be coming up for re-election in the not-too-distant future, right? Justice will prevail, one way or the other...

UPDATE: As you no doubt have heard by now, and as reported by the NY Times, the House panel has recommended 9-1 for censure for Mr. Rangel, and for him to pay his back taxes (um, and why hasn't he done this already???). The full House will vote on this after the Thanksgiving recess.

It is a shame that this is how Rep. Rangel's career will be remembered, a decorated war veteran, and Civil Rights advocate, he has spent many years in the House. Perhaps too many, it would seem. He could have avoided this hearing, though, and resigned. Instead, he is facing censure, and if the House so votes, it will be the first time since 1983, according to the NY Times article. A shame it is, and one Rangel has no one to blame for but himself. And he should be grateful the panel did not vote for expulsion.

It will be interesting to see how things turn out in the Waters case, but my guess is she will get off lighter than this, though Rangel is fortunate that this is the avenue the Panel has decided to take.

It still begs the question - why is he not having prosecutors show up at his door??

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