Ex.-Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) retired from Congress last year, but the deception and chicanery surrounding his finances appears to continue.
In his public filings, reviewed by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), Rangel purported to make a personal loan of $100,000 to his campaign in June 2014. These funds apparently needed to pay legal bills for Rangel’s unsuccessful attempt to have his 2010 censure by the House overturned by the courts.
It appears that he may not have made this “loan” at all because it appears repayment was made to his National Leadership PAC. So-called leadership PACs are fundraising vehicles that incumbent members of Congress may maintain in addition to their regular re-election campaign committees.
The motivation for the deception may be simple. Members of Congress may use funds from their personal re-election committees for legal expenses related to their service, but not from leadership PACs.
On his public disclosure forms filed at the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Rangel listed payments that appear to have gone to the National Leadership PAC for apparent repayment of the loan.
.On February 16 of this year, Rangel’s campaign committee made payments of $25,000, $25,889.57, and $24,110.43. Two were listed as “loan repayment” and the other was listed as “partial loan forgiven.” They referenced the loan made on June 23, 2014, which was the same day that Rangel allegedly made the $100,000 loan to his campaign committee.
In the same filings, Rangel reported that the money was repaid directly to him, but the FEC identification number of the recipient party was the National Leadership PAC.
Rangel was censured in 2010 on several counts, including his failure to pay taxes on income derived from a vacation home in the Dominican Republic, and his failure to disclose hundreds of thousands in income and assets. The Dominican income was exposed by NLPC, prompting more intensive scrutiny of Rangel’s overall finances. Prior to the censure, Rangel was forced to give up his Chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee after NLPC exposed a junket to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, which because of its corporate sponsorship, violated House rules.