By Steven Levin
As a recovering federal prosecutor, I see an occasional injustice that I might not have seen when I was with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Maryland. A businessman, for instance, is wrongfully targeted and subsequently suffers from the toll such an investigation takes on both his personal and professional life.
I also see the occasional injustice in which those who should be targeted and should be indicted avoid either one or both. Enter Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY). So far, with him, the system has failed us. The question begs to be asked: Why has he not been indicted?
If Representative Rangel were (merely) Mr. Rangel, how long do you think it would take a prosecutor to seek an indictment for tax evasion based on, as reported by The New York Times, his alleged failure to report rental income earned from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic, or his alleged receipt of gifts related to his rental of four rent-controlled apartments for less than market value? The answer in part would simply be before the statute of limitations runs.
But all is not lost. At least the system seems to be working in North Carolina, where Ex-Sen. (Now “Mr” ) John Edwards appears to remain the target of a federal grand jury for his alleged improper use of campaign funds.
Only time will tell if Mr. Edwards goes from the target of an investigation to a defendant in an indictment. If so, I suspect that few would see an injustice in that.
Levin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.