Charlie Rangel Taking Donations to Backpay His Ethics Lawyers

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If you feel bad for poor, censured Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel, good news: he's taking donations again -- this time to pay the lawyers who failed him in his ethics trial. The House ethics committee (the same one that convicted him) just approved the creation of a fund to help pay his legal defense bills.

The AP says Rangel still owes money to the attorneys that represented him in the case, but his ardent supporters can now donate up to $5,000 each year to the Charles B. Rangel Legal Expense Trust.

The 80-year-old congressman was convicted last month of 11 ethics violations that included failing to pay income tax and "improperly" obtaining rent-stabilized apartments.

Rangel also famously walked out of his own ethics hearing last month, complaining that he didn't have enough time to raise money or hire a legal team. Uh, a little late now, don't you think, Charlie?

We just hope he learned his lesson and won't ask for donations on congressional letterhead again.


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