Rangel tries the old razzle dazzle on House ethics subcommittee – & fails
Too funny. Via CNN:
Washington (CNN) — Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-New York, walked out of his House ethics subcommittee trial Monday, complaining that he has not had sufficient time to hire a new legal team to respond to corruption allegations.
The subcommittee rejected Rangel’s request to delay the hearing until a new defense team is assembled.
Rangel faces 13 allegations, include failing to pay taxes on a home in the Dominican Republic, misuse of a rent-controlled apartment for political purposes and improper use of government mail service and letterhead.
“Fifty years of public service is on the line. And I truly believe that I am not being treated fairly,” he declared. “I deserve a lawyer.”
Rangel told the subcommittee members he has already spent $2 million defending himself from the charges, and had been advised the trial could cost him another $1 million.
He complained that he was not being given enough time to raise funds to hire new lawyers because the committee was rushing to complete its work before the conclusion of the current lame-duck Congress.
Rangel’s original defense team left him in September.
Here’s more, via Fox News:
A House ethics subcommittee found no disagreement Monday on the facts of the case against Rep. Charles Rangel, but has to decide whether the facts violate any House rules and if so, what recommendation to forward to a full ethics committee panel to consider.
House ethics committee lawyers earlier had presented their case requesting summary judgment against Rangel, D-N.Y., after the panel denied the congressman’s request to delay the trial so that he could get a lawyer to defend him against 13 charges of financial and fundraising misconduct.
Outlining the case, Chief House ethics counsel Blake Chisam, assuming the role of prosecutor, accused Rangel — and showed video of his own admission of violating rules — of misusing official stationery to solicit private donations.
Other charges included receiving benefits from private donors that “reasonable people could conclude” was aimed at influencing his votes, violations of franking rules, violations of House rules on the use of official resources to solicit donations, accepting benefits from his landlord and individuals from whom he could derive benefit and failure to uphold federal tax laws.
But Chisam, who said none of the material facts are in dispute, claimed he did not believe Rangel’s conduct was corrupt, but rather “overzealous” and “sloppy in his personal finances.”
Video of Rangel walking out of his ethics trial:
Rangel’s known this day was coming for how long and yet he still supposedly hasn’t been able to find and pay for legal counsel since his original team left him? Please.
Jennifer Rubin adds:
Yes, the classic definition of chutzpah is a defendant who murders his parents and throws himself upon the mercy of the court as an orphan; but a tax cheat and Dominican Republic condo owner complaining he’s too poor to pay lawyers to defend him on ethics charges is pretty darn close. The committee was having none of it:
A little late, and only after an electoral thumping, I think the Congress is finally going to be draining that swamp — starting with the Rangel cesspool.
Can’t happen soon enough.