Rangel: Probe Me Now!

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U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) held a press conference today and blasted the Washington Post for their recent “foundless” article which alleged that Rangel had used official stationary to solicit funds for an academic center bearing his name from individuals with business before his committee.

Rangel denies that the recipients had business before his committee and challenged the Post “to show one line in any of the letters” that he sent “where there’s a solicitation for funds.”

He also demanded, and welcomed, a probe by the House ethics committee into the Post’s allegations:

So to that extent. . . another potential headline is, “Rangel Insists That the Ethics Committee Investigate the Unfounded Charges,” because, first of all, nobody that can read is going to bring any charges against me, including The Washington Post, which, of course, I encourage them to do it, because then they have to follow their own foundless story, and at least that gets some coverage on this in The Washington Post.

Rangel’s demand for an investigation by the ethics committee follows a similar request from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington yesterday. According to Melanie Sloane, executive director for CREW, Rangel might have something to worry about.

“It’s not a close call,” she said to the Post. “He’s clearly violated the rule against using the letterhead.