Speaking to reporters today, Rangel said he survived a Chinese attack in North Korea 60 years ago. As a result, he says, "I haven't had a bad day since." But Rangel says "today I have to reassess that statement."I guess watching the Twin Towers collapse killing nearly 3,000 people - many of his fellow New Yorkers and residents of his and neighboring Congressional districts doesn't make the cut.
He may be sounding less defiant, but that's only because of the overwhelming charges against him that are pending.
He's still unrepentant over his tax evasion, the use of rent stabilized apartments in violation of state law, House rules on long term parking, and various other matters. Rangel has framed this as a public lynching, even as he ignores that he violated multiple laws at the state and federal level.
Sorry Charlie, but you're not being lynched. You're in the process of facing justice that you so richly deserve for feeding at the public trough for so long that you consider yourself entitled to take whatever actions you thought without repercussions or consideration to the legal and ethical violations you committed.
His lawyers are busy trying to find a negotiated settlement that avoids opening Rangel up to criminal prosecution for his malfeasance. If he admits to any wrongdoing or criminality, the doors open up to criminal prosecution.
That's the real reason why he's not cut a deal with the panel thus far. Everyone knows just how serious the issues are against Rangel, and a wrist-slap isn't going to be enough here. A wrist-slap will result in the GOP using it as a wedge issue against Democrats and their leadership in the midterm elections, just as surely as Democrats did to the corrupt Republicans in the 2006 and 2008 elections.
The panel is expected to issue its determination at 1pm EDT.
It has come down to the wire, but CBS News Channel 2 in NY is claiming that he's cut a deal with the panel. No word on the details, but they'll probably be released this afternoon.
1010wins.com reports that there is no deal in place, but apparently the committee is still in talks with Rangel's lawyers.
New York Democrat Charles Rangel says there's no deal yet to settle his ethics case and avoid a trial on charges of violating standards of conduct.UPDATE:
Rangel told reporters outside his office, "Until someone tells me there's a deal, there isn't."
The former committee chairman spoke just before a House ethics panel is to hold a public session where charges will be read.
Deal or no deal, and Rangel chose no deal. He chose poorly. Rangel will now face trial in the House on 13 charges.
The charges include allegations that Rangel failed to report rental income on vacation property in the Dominican Republic and over the course of nearly a decade failed to report more than $600,000 on his financial disclosure statements.Rangel's refusal to make a deal means that this will now play out over the next few months unless Rangel's fellow Democrats push him to retire or resign to avoid damaging their own reelection chances.