A House ethics panel found senior Democratic lawmaker Charles Rangel violated House ethics rules, on 11 of the 13 counts lodged against him. The New York congressman was not in the hearing room when the announcement was made.
"We have tried to act with fairness led only by the facts and the law, and I believe that we have accomplished that mission,'' said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the ethics committee.
The panel reached its decision after a second day of closed-door discussions about the case. Rangel walked out of the disciplinary proceeding early Monday, protesting his lack of a lawyer and saying he could no longer afford one and should not be forced to proceed without one.
Later that day, the panel accepted as fact the entire prosecution case against Rangel, indicating that he would almost certainly be found to have violated some ethics rules.
On Tuesday, the panel of eight lawmakers announced they had concluded his actions were violations of ethics rules regarding the use of congressional staff and stationery, as well as requirements to accurately report his assets and improperly using a rent-stabilized residential apartment as a campaign office.
The 10-person ethics committee must now make recommendation on punishment, to be voted on by the entire House of Representatives. The most likely punishment is reprimand, but it is possible he could also face censure on the House floor.
The 80-year-old lawmaker has represented Harlem for four decades, becoming a powerful figure in both New York and national politics. The ethics issues, which were uncovered in 2008, forced him to relinquish his chairmanship of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee this March.
He was formally charged by the ethics committee in July, and resisted calls by some in his party to leave Congress for the good of his party. He refused, and won re-election this month.