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Rangel Seeks Donations to Legal Defense Trust

Rep. Charlie Rangel announced Tuesday that he has established a trust to collect contributions to pay for his legal bills, the Associated Press reported.

Supporters can give up to $5,000 a year to the Charles B. Rangel Legal Expense Trust to help cover expenses from the New York Democrat’s defense in a House ethics case. Rangel has spent more than $2 million on legal fees since 2008 and said in August he could no longer afford representation.

The House voted this month to censure Rangel after a panel of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct ruled against him on 11 of 13 charges that he violated the chamber’s rules. 

The House ethics committee also approved the legal defense trust, and contributions to it will be publicly disclosed. Former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall will serve as trustee.

A fundraising letter for the trust has been released. Corporations can make donations to the trust, but not federally registered lobbyists.

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