View Full Version : Rangel ditches ethics hearing - walks out over 'unfair' proceedings

11-16-2010, 02:01 AM
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/rangel_ditches_ethics_hearing_EGFJA5Yk3k4StC3pT1ID dM

Rangel ditches ethics hearing

By S.A. MILLER, Post Correspondent

Last Updated: 2:49 AM, November 16, 2010

Posted: 2:03 AM, November 16, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Charles Rangel shockingly walked out on Day One of his House ethics trial yesterday -- leaving stunned committee members no choice but to deliberate without him.

"I'm not being treated fairly," the Harlem Democrat complained, saying the committee was needlessly rushing to finish the case this year and forcing him to stand trial without a lawyer.

"Fifty years of public service is on the line," he added.

"I respectfully withdraw from these proceedings," he said moments before his dramatic exit.

But neither Rangel's protest nor his absence from the proceedings stopped the panel from agreeing to the "uncontested facts" of the case and beginning closed-door deliberations on the 13 charges of misconduct against him.

The discussions lasted most of yesterday and were expected to continue today. A final verdict is expected by year's end...

...Rangel spent about $2 million on his legal team but said his lawyers quit over concerns that he couldn't come up with another $1 million for the trial.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House ethics committee and presiding officer at the trial hearing, reminded Rangel that whether he showed up with a lawyer was not the committee's concern

"The retention of counsel is up to the respondent," she told Rangel.

"Whether you are to hire it at your own expense, through your campaign committee, or through a fund is your decision, not the committee's decision."

Rangel went AWOL from the hearing even before the panel decided to deny his request for a postponement...