Nightly News   |  October 14, 2009

Ethics issues cloud Rep. Rangel’s future

Oct. 14: The colorful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee recently revised 6 six years of financial statements, revealing more than $600,000 in previously unreported assets. NBC’s Lisa Myers reports.

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>>> fix that.

>>> storm clouds of a different kind are gathering over one of the most colorful and powerful members of congress, new york's charlie rangel , whose long-running ethics problems keep getting worse. nbc 's senior investigative correspondent lisa meyers reports now.

>> reporter: under an ethical cloud for more than a year now, charles rangel was in no mood to answer questions about that when nbc news caught up with him late yesterday afternoon.

>> any plan to step aside while the ethics panel investigates you?

>> i thought we were here to talk about trade and health. obviously, you were not informed on that.

>> reporter: the powerful chairman of the house ways and means committee recently revised six years of financial disclosure statements, revealing more than $600,000 in previously unreported assets and tens of thousands of dollars in unreported income. among the holdings rangel failed to report, an investment account and a checking account , each worth at least $250,000. rangel also has admitted that he failed to report and pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income on this villa in the dominican republic .

>> how exactly did you forget to file the --

>> you shouldn't be that way. you know that? you really -- i know it's your job, and i don't blame you. but it's really so rude.

>> reporter: in the past rangel has blamed his problems on sloppiness and said he did nothing wrong.

>> mr. rangel 's pattern of conduct is what's so troubling here. it's not just one violation. it's a pattern of violations. and at the very least it looks like he's arrogant and doesn't believe the rules apply to him.

>> reporter: republicans are demanding that rangel be removed as chairman until the ethics investigation is complete.

>> mr. rangel is the chairman of the tax writing committee in washington, d.c., and yet didn't pay his taxes.

>> reporter: so far house speaker nancy pelosi is sticking with rangel , but there is some nervousness among house democrats, who worry about how all this may play with the public. lisa meyers, nbc news, washington.

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