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House Ethics Panel: Rangel Broke Rules

The House Ethics committee has found that New York Rep. Charles Rangel (D) broke House rules by accepting trips to the Caribbean that were paid for by a company that lobbied Congress, the Associated Press reported first. The report could have an effect on his status as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel told reporters Thursday evening that he believes he will only be "admonished."

In its report, released Thursday evening, the panel's chair and ranking member wrote that Rangel was the only one of the six members being investigated who acted knowingly and violated rules. Rangel violated the "House gift rule" for accepting payment for travel.

Officers and employees at Carib News, the organization that hosted the members and accepted corporate contributions to help pay for it, were found to have given false or misleading statements to the ethics panel, which has referred their actions to the Justice Department.

"It is the intention of the Committee that publication of this Report will serve as a public admonishment by the Standards Committee of Representatitve Rangel," the report reads.

Rangel continues to be under investigation for other potential improprieties not connected with the Caribbean trips, including some tax-related issues. As Ways and Means chairman, he helps write the country's tax laws. He's been under investigation since mid-2008, when he called for an ethics investigation on himself.

The 79-year-old has represented Harlem since 1970. He spent Thursday at the Blair House attending President Obama's health care summit.