Feb 25, 2010 7:05 PM
The Associated Press has learned that the House ethics committee has concluded that Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel knowingly accepted Caribbean trips in violation of House rules that forbid hidden financing by corporations.
A congressional source familiar with the findings but not authorized to be quoted by name said at least four of members of the Congressional Black Caucus on the trips in 2007 and 2008 have been exonerated.
Rangel is one of the most influential members of Congress because the committee he chairs writes laws setting tax rates and oversees Medicare and Social Security benefits. The decision is certain to raise questions whether he can continue that role in an election year in which Congress must deal with several expiring tax laws.