Rep. Charles Rangel, the long-serving Congressman from Harlem who stepped down from chairing the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, has been charged with multiple ethics violations by the House investigative committee. The AP reports, "The panel's actions sends the case to a trial on the allegations. A separate ethics panel will decide whether the alleged violations can be proved by clear and convincing evidence. Sources said the committee and Rangel's attorney attempted unsuccessfully to negotiate a settlement to end the case. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private discussions. A settlement would have required Rangel to agree that he violated ethics rules."

The exact charges are not yet known. Rangel has been investigated for many issues: Among them, a love of junkets, not paying taxes, using House letterhead to solicit donations to a graduate school named in his honor and renting too many rent-stabilized apartments. Last month, he announced his re-election campaign, but his legal bills are very high.

Update: Via the Daily Politics, a statement from Rangel:

I was notified today, two years after I requested an investigation, that the Ethics Committee will refer the allegations reviewed by an Investigations Subcommittee to a Subcommittee that will review the facts.

I am pleased that, at long last, sunshine will pierce the cloud of serious allegations that have been raised against me in the media.

I will be glad to respond to the allegations at such time as the Ethics Committee makes them public.