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Ex-President Clinton Helps Promote Rangel Fundraiser

Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel may face a public trial Thursday over charges that he violated House ethics rules, but that hasn’t stopped his supporters from continuing to solicit campaign contributions for his upcoming birthday soiree.

Campaign aide Walter Swett sent out a new e-mail blast Tuesday reminding supporters about the New York Democrat’s 80th birthday gala, Aug. 11 at the Plaza Hotel in New York.

“The party is going to be fantastic — Aretha Franklin will perform and we’ll hear from a terrific group of New York leaders who are standing strong with Congressman Rangel,” Swett wrote.

Former President Bill Clinton is featured at the beginning of the video invitation thanking Rangel “for all you’ve done for Harlem and your friendship to Hillary and to me over the years.”

The video also features clips from Rangel’s birthday event last year, with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) praising Rangel.

“He’s someone I will constantly look to for his friendship, guidance and leadership,” Gillibrand said.

The invitation includes a link to RSVP for the event, which has four contributor levels: a $250 ticket to be a “special guest,” $500 to make it to “Charlie’s Circle,” and $1,000 and $2,500 to be a “patron” and “sponsor,” respectively.

The decision to continue promoting Rangel’s 80th birthday fundraiser comes as the Congressman is fighting allegations of serious ethical violations. The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct announced last week that an investigative subcommittee had found reason to believe Rangel broke House rules. The announcement came after a nearly two-year investigation into questions over his personal finances, fundraising and other issues.

A special House adjudicative panel will spell out the charges against him Thursday, with a full House trial slated to begin in mid-September.

Despite his ethics woes, Rangel is still favored to win a 21st term.

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