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Rangel Dips Into Campaign Funds to Pay Legal Expenses

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) doled out an additional $173,000 from his campaign coffers to cover his legal bills in spring 2010, according to his most recent report to the Federal Election Commission.

Rangel, who has faced a multi-pronged House ethics investigation into his personal finances and other issues for nearly two years, paid the bulk of those fees to Zuckerman Spaeder, about $142,000 in two payments in May and June, according to an FEC report released Thursday.

He also reported multiple payments to Oldaker, Belair & Wittie totaling more than $22,000 and two payments to Washington lawyer John Kern totaling more than $2,000.

The firm Watkins, Meegan, Drury & Co. also received a payment of nearly $6,500 in late May.

The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, also known as the ethics committee, opened its investigation into Rangel in July 2008. It has expanded its inquiry two times since creating an investigation subcommittee in September 2008.

Rangel, who requested the reviews, faces questions about his personal finances, living arrangements, fundraising efforts and use of a House parking space.

He has spent more than $1.7 million on legal fees in the current cycle, and he stepped down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in March.

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