Ethics Panel Finds ‘No Corruption’ by Rangel, But House Rules Likely Violated (Video)
November 15, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—-After a brief period of political Kabuki theater that only New Yorker Rep. Charlie Rangel (D) is capable of, the House ethics committee continued with its trial of the long-term congressman on 13-ethics charges. At the start of the trial Rangel pleaded for a postponement, because he couldn’t afford legal counsel, having already shelled out $2 million in legal fees during the two-year long investigation. Calling the process “unfair” and blaming the panel for his inability to retain a lawyer, Rangel walked out of the hearing and didn’t return. “I’ve been a lawyer long enough to know it’s very, very unwise to represent yourself,” said Rangel. By 5 p.m. the committee had not yet reached a decision and called it quits for the day, with plans to reconvene tomorrow. But the lawyer for the panel acknowledged that Rangel’s actions did not rise to the level of corruption.
“I truly believe I have not been treated fairly,” Rangel told members of the House ethics panel before walking out, not to return.
As the day-long hearing got underway, after Rangel’s dramatic exit, chief counsel R. Blake Chisam found evidence of House ruled being broken by Rangel, but no proof of corruption for personal gain.
The committee earlier found, that no material facts were in dispute with respect to the 13 charges faced by Rangel.
“Once the committee decided not to grant Rangel more time, the members proceeded to the examination of evidence from chief counsel R. Blake Chisam, who presented the case against the congressman.”
“Chisam said he had uncovered no evidence of corruption on behalf of Rangel but that the once powerful congressman had violated house rules.”
It’s not known whether the panel will reconvene tomorrow for further consideration, or whether a decision will be announced.