Rangel Likely to Face Ethics Committee

July 28th, 2010 at 12:24 am | 2 Comments |

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Politico reports that Rep. Charles Rangel is running out of options to avoid having to face the House ethics committee:

Rep. Charles Rangel’s chances of striking a deal with the House ethics committee grew more distant Tuesday, even as the public airing of charges against him drew closer.

New tinges of partisanship gripped the ethics process, making it appear far less likely that Rangel can find a settlement that suits both him and the panel’s Republican contingent.

The New York Democrat’s legal team has been working with the panel’s lawyers to strike an agreement that would save Rangel and House Democrats the pain of a public “trial” but also force Rangel to confess to some of the allegations that he mishandled his personal finances and abused his office.

Yet Republicans have the trump card: Any deal would have to win support from at least one GOP member of the panel, and the minority party is concerned that Democrats have sought to short-circuit the process by negotiating with Rangel without any Republicans present.

Rangel said Tuesday that he’s still trying to find common ground but also that he anticipates the opening session of the congressional ethics trial to go forward on Thursday.

“People are trying to avoid the [spectacle] of a hearing and, to me, it makes sense, and I’m not participating in it but my lawyers are, so if they can do anything to pierce the cloud of doubt with the truth, however it’s done,” he said. “When we were doing congressional conferences, there was [an] expression that said until everything is agreed upon, nothing is agreed upon. So that’s the way it is, and as far as I know, the schedule … is still on.”

A 40-year House veteran whose ethics troubles forced him out of the Ways and Means chairmanship earlier this year, Rangel is facing slowly building pressure from his fellow Democrats — including two who have called for his resignation — to cut a deal or cut his ties to Congress before Thursday’s ethics subcommittee “trial” begins.

Absent a decision to resign or to admit to most of the allegations against him, Rangel is now headed for a painful process that will start Thursday with the publication of the official charges that he broke House ethics rules — a Statement of Alleged Violation — and seems likely to drag into September or October.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • LFC

    Nuthin’ I like better than to see a crooked Congressman getting bitch slapped. And screw this negotiation crap. If he broke the rules, and especially if he broke the law, he’s got to go. Or how about the deal of “you leave quietly and we won’t prosecute?”

    Time to announce your retirement and that you will not seek re-election, Mr. Rangel. We don’t need your kind in Congress.

  • busboy33

    There is something about this that is making me confused.

    Rangel isn’t stupid. He might be greedy, evil, whatever . . . but he’s not stupid. He knows he didn’t pay the taxes, and he knows he didn’t disclose. He knows they know. He knows they have the evidence.

    What is with this “I’ll fight them on the beaches” stance he’s taking? You apologize, pay the fine and penalties, and get on with the day. It wouldn’t hurt re-election . . . but a public hearing and all that will. So what the heck is he doing?