Rangel Walks Out Of His Own Ethics Trial

Harlem Congressman: If I Can't Have Counsel, Do It Without Me

WASHINGTON (CBS 2 / 1010 WINS / WCBS 880) — A House panel is deliberating the fate of New York’s most powerful congressman.

Charles Rangel walked out of his own ethics trial Monday, but not before giving a fiery speech.

“Mr. McCall said you spoke with 40 witnesses or more, that there’s 30,000 pages of testimony. Am I entitled to know what they testified to?” Rangel said.

When he walked out some people thought he was crazy. But it may turn out that he was crazy like a fox because without Rangel’s participation the committee didn’t call any of their 50 witnesses, which could have been far more damaging to the Harlem Democrat’s reputation, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

“Fifty years of public service are on the line. My family has caught hell. I am entitled to a lawyer during this proceeding,” Rangel said.

And with those words, the tough as nails Harlem congressman challenged his ethics committee accusers to either give him an extension to raise money to hire another lawyer — his first lawyers quit after cleaning him out of $2 million — or go on without him.

They decided that after 21 months of investigation, 50 witnesses, 28,000 pages of testimony and over 500 exhibits the show must go on. Rangel didn’t like that one bit.

“I object to the proceeding and I with all due respect, since I don’t have counsel to advise me I’m going to have to excuse myself from these proceedings. I respectfully remove myself,” Rangel said.

And then Rangel walked out, leaving the counsel to the ethics commission, Blake Chisam, to list all 13 counts of financial and fund raising misconduct, including failure to pay taxes on his Dominican Republic vacation home, and the use of a rent-regulated Harlem apartment as a campaign office.

“The case is ripe for a decision,” Chisam said.

But before the commission recessed to consider the charges against Rangel, Democrat G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina asked Chisam the key question:

“In all of your investigation of this matter do you see any evidence of personal financial benefit or corruption?” Butterfield said.

“I see no evidence of corruption,” Chisam said. “I believe that the congressman, quite frankly, was overzealous in many of the things that he did, and at least sloppy in his personal finances.”

Rangel issued a statement, saying “In the end, I hope that I would be judged on my entire record that determines that I have been a credit to the House and to my family, friends and supporters who have entrusted me with this honorable duty.”

The subcommittee is still deliberating its recommendations. Once it’s done the entire House must decide what sanction to impose. It can range from no action, reprimand, censure and expulsion.







More from Marla Diamond


    • Ihopetheythrowthebookathim

      we gave him a chance. He walked out!

  • Cracking Up

    Perhaps we can find this destitute congressman a public defender. What. The ACLU doesn’t have a horse in this race? Jesse Hi-Jackson or Slim Sharpton don’t have a lawyer to send to defend their brother from this obviously racially driven political lynching??? I’m shocked!!!!

  • jossch

    This is all bull but why would you hire Lawyers you can’t afford? Previous statements by Rangel contradict these recent allegations. You have to keep your lies in some sort of order.

  • Jay

    Charlie is a smart man or he would not have been so successful. So what is the logic of trying to force a delay in the trial?
    if tried now, he tried by a House controlled by the Democrats. If tried in January, it’s by a House controlled by the Republicans.
    Which plays better in the press – “Congressman Found Guilty By His Own Party” or “Black Congress Member Persecuted by Reublicans”?

  • WHeis

    He has paid his former attorneys 2 million dollars, and what has he been given in return?

    No lawyer at the hearing.
    No clue what the charges are against him, or what evidence is being used to support those charges.

    Other than a few choice words on television over the past 2 years since this all started, and perhaps some stalling of the actual hearing, I can’t figure out what his attorneys did that was worth 2 million.

    First thing, the law firms that took his money – and did basically nothing at all for his case – should be banned from practicing law.
    Second, an appointed ‘free’ lawyer should not be considered a gift – which will then eliminate that as an issue that is keeping this hearing from going forward.
    Third, if found guilty of anything that you or I (the common citizen) could face criminal penalties for, those penalties should apply to their maximum to any public official who is found guilty of them.

    Give the man a lawyer. Destroy the $2m firm that did nothing at all for their client. Run the hearing and dish out the same penalties that anyone else in the country would face.

    Not hard.

  • BlownfuelCoupe

    I would imagine Hell will be hot for Blacks too.

  • KT

    This is about corruption/ethics – not political positioning (liberal vs conservative). Both ends of the political spectrum have a history of this behavior. Try the Dr. Phil website for your psychological rantings…

  • BlownfuelCoupe

    Superior Example for the Black Youths of today. Lie, Cheat, & Steal. Then when caught, obviscate, gyrate, & complicate.

  • andy warhol

    lawyers are crooks, all of them

  • rdk

    An obvious ploy to continue to delay proceedings. Throw him into jail for safe keeping.

  • bewolff

    He’ll get away with it,he’s black.

  • milcon

    Blagojevich, Kilpatrick, Jefferson, Rangel, Wilkerson, ACORN, SEIU, the list of Democratic crooks goes on and on. So much for Pelos’ cleaning the swamp.

    • Linda

      Actually, calling DC a swamp is an insult to swamps everywhere. DC is a sewer, not a swamp, it is a sewer.

  • Ihopetheythrowthebookathim

    Anyone who represents himself in court has an idiot for a client.

  • RedTruck

    Rangel could not care less for the Congress of the United States, his constituency (although they have not figured that out yet), his colleagues, his family or himself for that matter – he thinks he is above the law – not so Charlie – everyone is watching and more importantly He who counts is watching.

  • Big Time Joe

    The old buzzard knows he’s been caught and is guilty. He’s not going to put up much of a fight at the hearing. He’ll retire, pay a little fine and go live in the Caribbean. He couldn’t care less about “personal ethics”.

  • robert g

    Only the innocent need lawyers. The guilty can lie for themselves.

  • Politically Incorrect

    I’m surprised he has not played the race card yet.

  • Willy Brown

    He who represents themselves has a fool for a client.

  • meesha4

    Oh I do wish everyone would leave poor Charlie alone. He has done so much for his constituents in Harlem. If anything should happen to Charlie, WHO would help the Harlemites continue to live in such a well-respected, productive district? Why he’s done such a good job for them, they overwhelmingly re-elected him.

  • M. Williams

    Ethics and Congress are antithetical.

    Corruption and Congress is much more accurate.

    Rangel is one rotten apple. There are more.

  • Puzzled

    He answers the ethics charges with yet another ethics violation by using PAC money to pay lawyers fees. What a sweeetheart! He has had 2 years to prepare for this and he hasn’t had enough time? He should be expelled from Congress and then prosecuted for criminal behavior. Let him sell some of his properties he hadn’t paid taxes on to get money to defend himself.

  • warloch

    Typical liberal. Laws are for other people not me. The people who vote for liberals and RINOs are USEFUL IDIOTS. Rangel’s plan is to drag this investigation out until he retires at which point it will be a moot subject and he will fly off to his vacation home laughing. Support the Tea Party and fire all of the liberal politicians who have ruined this country.
    Below is a list of symptoms of the mental disorder Moral Dyslexia also known as Liberalism. Keep in mind that some of these symptoms may apply to other mental disorders, however, if you exhibit 3 or more at the same time then you are classified as a liberal.
    1. Unable to control anger.
    2. Chronic dishonesty. (This includes the chronic incidence of stating unfounded opinion as fact.)
    3. Act irresponsibly then blame others for the results.
    4. View all other people as less intelligent than you.
    5. Jealous of people who have more money than you and covet their property or wealth.
    6. True motivation is self-benefit. (People with this symptom usually also employ symptom 2.)
    7. Believe happiness is a right.
    8. Only happy when owning or possessing the material things that bring them pleasure.

  • Dwain

    I guess he has both a fool and a crook for a client.

  • Winky wright

    The corruption in government is in direct proportion to the amount of taxes we pay. Two absolutes are: All government at all levels is completely corrupt as there is no oversight of the trillions of dollars we pay them! Less government = less corruption!

  • DisturbedMary

    Get your act together man. Your eighty years old. You will be answering to a higher authority who knows you naked. Get your act together man.

    • Ratzasz Hostenfloffer

      A higher authority who knows you naked. Would that be Barney Frank?

      • milcon


  • dan

    People will still vote him into office because it’s all about race. If somebody voted for a candidate because he was white you know what the cry would be.Green in South Carolina got 155,000 votes and he couldn’t speak English…I wonder why they voted for him. Hmmm……..

  • myowngrandpaw

    Rangel is one smart congressman. He has actually put the Congress on defense as they are trying to figure out how to answer this ridiculous charge by Rangel. The panel does not want to come across as not giving Rangel his due process.

    He as also put across an interesting point. He cannot afford council, yet if he gets a council appointed him then it is a gift. Therefore, Rangel is saying there is no way he could receive a fair hearing based on his inability to obtain ANY council.

  • tomcat

    ran out of money ?…whose…his or ours…

  • powhatan

    Didn’t have time? Puhleese…and this is an ethics trial…..Talk about a Huge mess in the pants…..

  • David Smith

    All the dems and half the Republicans should be there with him.

    • Barry O'

      Support your claim or apologize. What facts do you have that no one else has???

  • bluenikki

    I’m curious. What if he does successfully stall and his ethics trial is held over to the new Congress? Could that possibly work against him?

  • Freedom_Isnt_Free

    This will expose the dems for the crooks they are! They will nothing to Rangel and probably apologize to him for his inconvenience!

  • MBeasley

    It is time that thse crooks are removed from office. If we continue to allow law breakers to be in charge of making our laws, then we are stupid. Nancy Pelosi said she was going to clean the swamp out, well it looks as if the democrats failed. The swamp is full, and it’s full of democrats.


    This damn fool cannot even recognize right from wrong and he was the head of the committee that controls the IRS….

    REPARE AMERICA’S GOVERNMENTS…We have little or no representation.

  • Ca Sam

    This is an example of Nancy Pelosi’s “most ethical congress ever”. I can not wait for 2012 so we can finish the job we started a few weeks ago.

  • SirJaxx

    Congress should Immediately issue a Warrant for Congressman Charles Rangel and compel him to appear before the Ethics Panel and give Testimony in Defense of his Indefensible behavior.
    Except this time he can appear in a Orange Jumpsuit & Handcuffed!

  • jtorres

    This “rare” trial is politics as usual. In a country where Marion Barry is re-elected despite being IN JAIL, does anyone really think Rangel is going to have to do any time? Get real.

  • jefe

    Try him in absentia – He’s had more than enough time to prepare his defense and he is a lawyer – gimme a break – 3 best tactics in a crinimanl matter ; stall – stall – stall ..

  • George O'Kneb

    Rangel represents the heart and soul of the Democrat Party. All Democrats yearn to be like him., i.e. Corrupt to the core. He will get off scot-free because every Democrat in the House worships him and he knows it. He should be married to Maxine Waters…they deserve each other. Pelosi is of the same genre. People elect the same crooks and expect honest results.

    • Paul Marshall

      It’s classic def. of “insanity”. We do it in the blue states all the time. That’s why we’re so corrupted and clueless. Rhode Island is a perfect example. At the BOTTOM of every metric, yet the worst of our society get selected, elected, investigated, indicted and incarcerated. Then immortalized. Yuck!

  • Fred Eichelman, Ed.D.

    Charlie Rangel is a crook, however his party will save his neck. He will make this a racist thing. The same is true with Maxine Waters. I agree with the person who said that if we had been guilty of what he is accused of, we’d go to jail!

  • Winston

    Sadly, rules of right and wrong do not apply to the left.

  • Vince

    If Rangel is not evicted from congress then there is no hope to weed out the corruption.

  • tdrag

    What does this say about the “voters” who have been re-elcting him for years?

    • scott

      That they are black.

      • MissJusticeNY

        that they are stupid and ignorant to what actually happens in the real world. I guarantee you atleast half the people who voted for him didn’t even know about this ethics trial coming up because they don’t watch/read the news. I’ve been saying that if people aren’t well versed in current events, they shouldn’t be allowed to vote!

      • Paul Marshall

        Agreed.. They have this giant chip on their shoulders about the slavery stuff…(what peoples were NOT slaves?) Hands out and constantly whining. What a monolithic demographic. When (if) they learn of competition (what an irony) for their vote, their lives will improve immensely. 90% support Obama because he’s colored. That’s like voting for Zsa Zsa Gabor because she’s blonde!

  • Joe D

    What a B.S. artist. He had been demanding that the trial be moved up so it wasn’t hanging over him during the election. Kick him out of Congress!

  • Alanon

    Say one thing for him, he has Big Brass Ones. Caught red handed in no less than a dozen scams and HE’s indignant??!!??

    He ought to be cashiered from the House, NOW!

  • mark

    If the Average Joe/Joanne pulled half the stuff that Rangel did, we’d be locked up and fined so quickly that your head would spin.

    And what do Rangel and those of his ilk get? Nothing but reelection.

    This country is turning into a joke. Where law abiding citizens are treated like criminals but those that break the law are rewarded.

  • Jimmy

    What a crook!!!!!!!!!!!

  • pat

    This is going to be good. We are going to see the best dancing since Fred Astare. Charlie ” Bojangles” Rangel will beat this because the Democrats cannot take another scandal or embarassment. He will resign in the middle of the night and go out the back door.

    • woody3691

      Wishful thinking. He’s unrepentant and a supreme egotist so he won’t go anywhere unless he’s forced out. The police of the wall of blue and congress has the wall of green. They won’t toss him probably because he knows where too many bodies are buried.

  • laughingtothebank

    Professor Rangel will skate on this whole matter. The House will NOT fall down on an elderly black man for any reason whatsoever. Rangel was smart enough to keep a public spotlight on his mess, effectively link himself and his misdeeds to his constituency so that if he’s censured, so goes the Harlem community. No one knows better how to work the system than old, cagey Charlie Rangel!!!!!

  • icekoolguy

    what a joke to have him above the law

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