Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, says he plans to file an ethics complaint — against himself.
The move comes after a Washington Post reporter wrote a story raising questions about the New York Democrat’s efforts to raise money for an academic facility in Harlem that will bear his name.
The story suggested that Rangel violated House rules by sending out letters bearing an official congressional letterhead seeking funds for the Rangel Center, to be located at the City College of New York, from Donald Trump and other wealthy individuals.
At a press conference on Thursday morning, Rangel urged the Post reporter to have his paper request an investigation with the House Ethics Committee. He said if the paper does not make such a request, he will personally request an investigation. But under House rules, only lawmakers can file an official ethics complaint against another legislator, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Rangel said he did not believe he had violated any ethics rules and hoped the committee would agree.
“The review should be done as soon as possible so as to clear up any misunderstandings regarding my efforts to … discuss partnerships between educational institutions and the private sector,” Rangel said in a statement released at the press conference.
“I believe the review will show there have been no violations of rules.”
Asked if the ethics panel should investigate the matter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she supports Rangel’s request for an ethics committee probe.
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