New York Rep. Charles Rangel sued House Speaker John Boehner and six other lawmakers, saying evidence was withheld from a House probe that led to Rangel’s censure for several ethics violations.
The House was “knowingly deceived” by members of the ethics committee, including a fellow Democrat, California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rangel claims in a complaint filed Monday in federal court in Washington. The committee withheld a memo by former committee staff warning the proceedings against him had been tainted by misconduct, Rangel alleges.
“The suppressed material would probably have led to a different outcome,” Rangel’s lawyer, Jay Goldberg, said in the complaint. Rangel alleges that “had he known the facts,” he would have “made a motion to dismiss by reason of wrongdoing.”
Rangel, a former Ways and Means Committee chairman, was censured by the House in December 2010 for violations including using a rent-controlled apartment as a campaign office; using congressional stationery and staff to seek donations for an academic center named for him at City College of New York; filing erroneous financial-disclosure statements; and failing to pay taxes on rental income for 17 years.
The Federal Election Commission last year fined Rangel $23,000 over the rent-controlled apartment. The FEC said the use of the apartment was a campaign contribution in excess of legal limits and should have been reported by Rangel’s campaign committee and his leadership political action committee.
Duncan Neasham, a spokesman for Lofgren, said in a phone interview that he had not seen the complaint and declined to comment immediately. Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the lawsuit.
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