Ethics Counsel: Rangel Should Be Censured
November 18, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—The chief counsel for the House ethics committee recommended that Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) be sanctioned with a censure for the panel’s finding that the beleaguered Congressman was guilty of 11 counts of ethics violations. Blake Chisam, after reviewing past sanctions handed down to Congressmen Charlie Wilson and Charles Traficante, said that Rangel’s actions merited a punishment in between a reprimand and a censure. But after pointing out Rangel’s position on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, he arrived at the punishment of a House censure.
After Chisam made his recommendation, Rangel rose to speak, reminding the panel that the evidence showed that his actions did not amount to corruption.
“I was not a bad person,” said Rangel. He admitted to being careless, but not corrupt to obtain personal benefit for himself.
Rangel also hit back hard at the harsh statement made against Rangel by ranking member Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL).
Rangel berated Bonner for questioning his patriotism and his love of the House of Representatives.
Rep. John Lewis (D-AL) then rose to make a short statement testifying to Rangel’s good character. “He is a good and decent man I know his heart,” said Lewis.
After additional drubbing from the Republican members of the committee, Rangel responded that he never had the intent to hide his actions from the I.R.S or his constituents.
The full committee ended its hearing and entered into executive session to vote on Rangel’s punishment. The final decision will be put in a public report.
If a censure is approved by the House ethics committee, Rangel would be required to stand in the well of the House to be formally censured by his colleagues.
It was thought Rangel would receive the lesser reprimand for his actions, since no actual corruption was found and multiple charges stemmed from the misuse of official stationary, but Chisam found Rangel’s actions warranted a stricter punishment.