I asked that question a few months ago. Now we have another fact with which to build answer. Actually, we have 11 facts, as the Democrat-dominated House Ethics Committee found Congressman Charles Rangel (D-Corruption) guilty on 11 of 13 counts against him:
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the adjudicatory subcommittee and the full House ethics committee, announced the decision late Tuesday morning following an abbreviated public trial of the 20-term lawmaker and nearly six hours of deliberations.
“We have tried to act with fairness, led only by the facts and the law,” Lofgren said. “We believe we have accomplished that mission.”
The full ethics panel will now convene a sanctions hearing to recommend a punishment. Serious sanctions — including formal reprimand, censure or expulsion — require a vote on the House floor. Expulsion requires a two-thirds vote, while a reprimand, which Rangel refused to agree to in July, or a censure would need just a simple majority. The ethics panel could also impose a fine and diminish some of Rangel’s privileges.
While Rangel richly deserves expulsion, don’t expect that to happen. The Democrats would almost certainly never toss out one of their own (Especially one who knows where a lot of bodies are buried), and the CBC would have an absolute fit; Rangel is a co-founder of the Caucus and one of the longest-serving African Americans in the House. And with (soon to be ex-)Speaker Pelosi needing their votes to remain as minority leader (and she already has trouble on that flank)… No, there’s no way Charlie gets shown the door. Most likely is a reprimand and perhaps the permanent loss of his committee chairmanship seniority.
If Rangel is smart, he’ll take his medicine now, before the Republicans gain control of the House.
As for the corruption of the CBC, I suspect the long-overdue clean up will be starting soon.
EDIT: Made the change above since, with the election, Charlie’s post as Chairman is gone for good.
UPDATE: From David Freddoso, word that Charlie is in denial.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)