Eleventh Hour Before Special Ethics Panel for Charlie Rangel
Barring an eleventh hour deal, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) is set to go before the special ethics panel at 1 p.m. today, at which time the panel will unveil the “Statement of Alleged Violations” against the fourth most senior member of the House. The statement will represent the first detailed exposition of the findings of a two-year investigation into Rangel’s personal finances and the specific charges of wrongdoing that it has uncovered.
Up to this point, the specifics of Rangel’s alleged missteps have been cloudy, leading most Democrats to reserve judgment in the case, despite the bipartisan ethics committee’s indications that there is “substantial reason to believe” that Rangel broke House rules. Only two Democrats — Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) and Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) — have hinted that Rangel should resign, but that trickle of criticism could soon become a flood of condemnations if the statement sounds bad this afternoon.
According to Politico, Rangel has begun to tell his colleagues that he understands they’ll do what’s politically expedient when the time comes. “I know you love me,” he told a junior Democrat. “But love yourself more.”