In recent years, the Wilson Democrat has received $5,000 from Rangel, a powerful New York Democrat who faces an investigation by the House ethics committee that Butterfield just joined, The Hill reports.
A spokesman for Butterfield said he may recuse himself from Rangel's case, but he doesn't believe the contribution could bias him for Rangel:
"The congressman got the donation long before he even considered joining the ethics committee,” said spokesman Ken Willis. "[Butterfield] was a judge in North Carolina for 15 years and certainly understands how to proceed in a judicial and nonpartisan manner.
"His integrity is not for sale, and certainly not [for] $5,000," Willis added.
Another member of the committee returned nearly $20,000 in donations he received from Rangel.
In a recent interview, Butterfield said he would be more circumspect in his interactions with other members because of his position on the committee.