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Charlie Rangel Sets Up Legal Fund

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"I have received authorization from the Committee on Standards and Official Conduct to begin raising funds for the Charles B. Rangel Legal Expense Trust, which I have sought to create so I can retain counsel for on-going activities related to the recently-concluded ethics investigations and other on-going matters," Rangel, who was censured by the House earlier this month, said in a statement.

"The repeated filings of allegations, no matter how unsubstantiated, by the National Legal Policy Committee, a politically-motivated right-wing group dedicated to eviscerating civil rights and labor union protections, have led me to this action," Rangel said.

Back on Nov. 29, the National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission which alleged that Rangel improperly used $400,000 from his political action committee to pay legal bills related to the House ethics probe.

"All contributions to the Trust will be reported as required on a quarterly basis with the Committee as well as the Legislative Resource Center for public disclosure," Rangel added.

"I continue to draw satisfaction from the recently concluded Ethics Committee investigations that established that, while I committed serious violation of the rules of the House, none of those violations included corruption, intent, self-dealing, self-enrichment or quid pro quos involving any official action," Rangel said.

Former New York state comptroller H. Carl McCall serves as the trustee of the fund.

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