Rangel Pays Big Money for Legal Muscle in Tax Mess

Rangel paid more than $100K for legal help

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    Charlie Rangel speaks about legislation that would repeal the alternative minimum tax and cut the top corporate rate.

    New York Rep. Charles Rangel paid more than $100,000 in campaign funds to a law firm to represent him as he continues to face ethical questions over his tax records, a newspaper says.

    The New York Post reported Sunday that the powerful chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee had hired the law firm though his Rangel for Congress fund.

    Federal election rules prohibit elected officials from using campaign funds for personal legal expenses.

    Rangel spokesman George Dalley said the congressman had a "prior ruling" from the Federal Election Commission that "this is a legitimate campaign expense."

    But the chairman of an ethics-watchdog group was skeptical. National Legal and Policy Center chairman Ken Boehm said the questions Rangel faces over his taxes appear to be personal in nature.