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Rangel Races Against Clock To Settle Ethics Probe

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)

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NEW YORK — Longtime New York Congressman Charlie Rangel is racing against the clock Thursday morning in an attempt to strike a deal before the day’s public hearing on his alleged ethics violations gets underway.

Political observers say Congressman Rangel is such a skilled negotiator that he probably knows that the longer he olds out, the more he gets. Therefore, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer says a deal could be reached just minutes before or even after the start of the 1 p.m. hearing.

At issue is whether the former head of the House Ways and Means committee will admit to any serious ethical wrongdoing. Rangel is being charged with misusing his office for fundraising, failure to disclose income, belated payment of taxes and possible help with a tax shelter for a company whose chief executive was a major donor.

The biggest question: If there isn’t a deal and there is a full-blown ethics train in September, how will that affect fellow Democrats in tough re-election battles?

Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.) weighed in.

“For him to go through the spectacle of a trial, expecially in this atmosphere, in an election season where not only would he be attacked in a partisan way by Republicans, he’d be abandoned by a lot of Democrats who are afraid for their own elections. So I think it’s best, best for the institution.”

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